Lawmakers refocus on state school funding formula
Illinois lawmakers are preparing to once again consider a proposed overhaul of a school funding formula that would direct more state money to poorer rural districts at the expense of wealthier suburban ones.
A Tuesday hearing will be the first time the issue is addressed since November’s election. Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said he opposes current legislation being considered by House Democrats after it was approved by the Senate last spring.
The legislation would overhaul Illinois’ dated school funding formula. There’s wide agreement the formula should be altered, but disagreement about how.
Central to the legislation’s fate are two highly-charged issues: educational equity and the efficient use of tax dollars.
Opponents say the plan unfairly penalizes districts able to spend more money on students because of rich property tax bases.