While State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) education funding reform proposal is inching along in the state legislature, he doesn’t sound confident it’ll be passed by the end of the month.
Manar says the steps taken already this year show how far the issue has come in one session.
“Parents, teachers and administrators across the state, not just downstate, I think they’ve reached a level of frustration with our current school aid formula that’s never been seen before in the state,” he said.
Manar’s proposal changes the school funding formula to make districts exhibit need before getting its state aid disbursment. Springfield stands to gain from the legislation, while some neighboring districts will lose money.
Meanwhile, newly released figures by school district are fueling debate about a proposed overhaul of the formula.
A database released Wednesday by the state Board of Education shows that downstate school districts would gain at the expense of wealthy, suburban ones under a revised formula the Legislature is considering.
Reform advocates say the numbers show the proposal would provide more equity between rich and poor districts across Illinois by considering poverty levels. Opponents say the changes would be unfair to the suburbs of Chicago and St. Louis.