Illinois emergency agency grants school $25 million for safety projects

Thursday, May 8, 2014

School districts in the Chicago and St. Louis suburbs would see major cuts to state aid while downstate schools would see gains under a proposal that would drastically overhaul Illinois' complicated school funding formula for the first time in almost two decades.

State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill said the state Board of Education's database detailing the estimated impact to the state's 860 school districts, released Wednesday, more clearly illustrates that his proposal would provide equity to rich and poor districts across Illinois. Under the plan, the vast majority of total state education funding would be distributed by factoring in districts' poverty levels.

But providing the specifics of how much money school districts stand to gain or lose also makes clear the political risk for lawmakers in voting for such legislation during an election year, particularly in the well-heeled suburbs, where lawmakers in vulnerable swing districts may be hesitant to anger voters.

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