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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

State Senator Revises School Funding Bill


Illinois public schools are funded by two main sources--property taxes and state money. State senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Macoupin County, introduced legislation that would change that formula. 

It didn't make it through the General Assembly last session, but Manar feels confident the issue will be debated again by the new legislature.

“There's only a few people that believe that the state aid formula today, as it exists, works well. And those are the ones that benefit at the expense of the masses from today's system.”

Manar admits his bill isn't perfect, but so far no one has come up with a better plan.

“I'm open to ideas, and if you have them, please put them on the table and let's have a debate about them. Let's file legislation. Let's have committee hearings.”

Manar's plan would be costly to wealthier districts, and opposition from those areas helped sink the idea. In the next session, the bill will likely have a revised standard for poverty, and accommodate for labor market differences between Chicago and downstate districts. 

The General Assembly will reconvene in January. 

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