New Commission To Tackle Reform Of Illinois' School Funding Formula

New Commission To Tackle Reform Of Illinois' School Funding Formula

CHICAGO, July 12 IL will once again tackle adequate and equitable school funding, with the governor on Tuesday announcing a bipartisan task force and a tight deadline for it to produce recommendations.

Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders are creating a new commission to change the way schools are funded in IL.

"We need more equity and we need to increase the overall state support", Rauner told reporters, adding that the 25-member panel has a February 1 deadline so that legislation can be taken up during the spring session, which ends on May 31. When it comes to funding education, IL ranks dead last out of 50 states.

"We are the worst state in America for funding our schools", the governor said at a Chicago news conference announcing the plan.

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The complicated way that IL uses to determine how much money schools receive has always been contentious. "Together, Democrats and Republicans need to move quickly to come to consensus and recognize a better way and make our state a national example of how school funding should be done". In addition, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Chairman Rev. James Meeks will serve as a liaison between ISBE and the Commission. One of the governor's picks is Education Secretary Beth Purvis, who will serve as chairwoman.

Purvis said the group intends to meet at least monthly beginning in August and will look at aspects of both Barickman's evidence-based model and Manar's SB 231, as well as models from other states. "But if we stay on this rigorous schedule...I believe we can get to a good conclusion".

At the same time, Madigan's office said he would be sending Rauner background information on a tax on millionaires, which the speaker has been pushing as a way to help fund education, and which Rauner has opposed. "It denies the American Dream to low income families because they don't get the same level of resources as higher income families do".

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