Illinois Senate Republicans have introduced a bill on education funding. The measure would require the state to cover the full recommended per-pupil amount of general state aid recommended by the Education Funding Advisory Board, an amount the state now covers at 89 percent. “We will fully fund the foundation formula – no proration, we will fully fund the formula before putting any money in any other area of the education budget,” State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) said.
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But that’s a problem, says State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who is pushing a re-write of the entire formula. “You’re simply shifting the pain to other areas of the budget with in the state board’s appropriation, which should cause major concerns for things such as special ed, for bilingual education, for transportation,” he said. The state pumps $3.7 billion into public schools via the general state aid formula, and $3 billion under other programs.