After House and Senate Democrats shoot down each other’s plan to fund schools this fall, Republicans are promoting their own plan.

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, says his bill is the only real plan to ensure schools open this fall. He says Illinois schools would not prorate, or lower funding, to any schools based on the current funding formula.

“Under this plan, we fully fund (schools). We make sure no school districts lose,” he said. “I think if this budget bill would pass, we’d guarantee schools open this fall.”

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Barickman says House and Senate Democrats couldn’t compromise last week to pass school funding.

“They got into this bidding war about who could better bail Chicago out and the end result was nothing,” he said.

Sen. President John Cullerton's office is still reviewing the legislation, which was filed right before the end of session. Spokesman John Patterson said in a statement that they are hopeful the legislation is a serious effort toward meaningful compromise and not just material for political games.

Under the bill, Chicago Public Schools would receive $74 million more than this year’s funding level.


(Copyright WBGZ /