Equitable funding needed for Illinois schools

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by Esther Kwon, Fox Illinois

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Those in favor of the bill hope to gather more support from lawmakers for a majority to override the potential veto coming from the Governor in the future. (WRSP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — 

The State of Illinois finally has a budget, but there is no education funding bill in place to actually give schools any money yet.

Senate Bill 1 is the education funding bill that has gained the most traction so far. It’s an evidence-based funding formula that would give new dollars to the state’s neediest districts first.

In Springfield on Thursday night, people showed up at a town hall to discuss what SB 1 would mean for Illinois schools.

One man said there needs to be more equitable funding to level out the playing field for all students.

“It’s an issue where, morally, we should be supporting every student in this state – not just those who have adequate funding in their local districts,” said Rochester resident Bruce Hays. He is also a District 186 alumnus and former Rochester superintendent. “I think every student should be supported,” Hays said.

Event organizers said the state’s current formula is broken and that a new plan needs to change how education is funded.

“Resources, property taxes – that’s the unfair way of doing it,” said Roy Williams Jr., with the Faith Coalition for the Common Good. “It’s an unequal system. It’s a system that has been in place for years and years and years, and is long overdue to take a look at how we fund schools in Illinois,” he said.

SB 1 has been passed by the General Assembly, but has not made its way to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk yet. Senate Democrats are holding on to the bill because Governor Rauner has said he will veto it, calling it a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

Those in favor of the bill hope to gather more support from lawmakers for a majority to override the potential veto coming from the Governor in the future.

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