While the state Senate ponders a new bill to improve the way Illinois funds K-12 education, the House has a task force to tackle the same bill. Moving to an integrated primary state funding formula that's accounting for both student need and local resources,Northern Illinois University expert Jonathan Furr told lawmakers. One major concept is to simplify our current system.
A bill to revamp the nearly 20-year-old formula passed only the Senate last year. A revision this year takes regional differences in cost of living into account. One thing we know: lawmakers of different parties, and in different parts of the state, are unhappy with the status quo.
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I could use Danville as an example: In 2000, they got $2600 a child, and now they are getting about $7600 a child, so the formula actually did its job in providing more money to that school district, said State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), who said he pays $7000 in taxes on a $220,000 home in Chicago's northwest suburbs. They're actually spending more to educate a child there than I'm spending here, but my tax burden is way up here.
A child in Marion, and the value of their education, is worth as much as anywhere else in the state. That's not the case under the system we have currently, said State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion). My children are not given the same value education as children in other parts of the state.