State Legislative Leaders Say They've Reached School Funding Deal

Aug 24, 2017

Illinois legislative leaders say they've reached a tentative agreement in the state's school funding fight, but details have not been released.

Credit Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin issued a statement Thursday saying there's "agreement in principle," but wording won't be released until "drafts have been reviewed."

Democratic leaders Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement that they've reached "agreement in concept."

The four are expected to meet again in Springfield Sunday, a day before the House convenes.

There's wide agreement that Illinois's 20-year-old school funding formula is unfair, but Democrats and Republicans have disagreed about how to fix it.

It’s been reported the two sides have been discussing a way to raise Chicago’s property taxes and creating a new program that would use taxpayer dollars to pay for private school scholarships.

 

The head of the largest teachers union in Illinois says it’s a “bitter irony” to see lawmakers discuss what she calls a school vouchers program as part of a deal.

 

The budget lawmakers approved last month over GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's objections requires a new formula for schools to get state money this year.

Rauner's office issued a statement "applauding" the leaders for the agreement and said the governor "looks forward to the coming days when the legislation is passed by both chambers.”

  • The Associated Press and WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold contributed to this report.