Illinois’ school-superintendent-to-be says poor schools need more help than wealthy ones. State lawmakers are working on legislation to adjust state funding for schools to help districts that are in need because they have a high population of kids from low-income families, or because they have a poor tax base, or both. Incoming Superintendent Tony Smith says that’s the right way to go.
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“We need to support kids who are in different situations differently, and that to me is fair, and I think oftentimes the easier thing to do is talk about equal, and that equal will get us there. We live in a country that is absolutely unequal,” he said in an interview.
Like the governor, Smith does not have a position on the specific bill that State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is sponsoring.
Smith takes office on May 1. He comes to the position from the W. Clement Stone and Jesse V. Stone Foundation in Oak Park – this organization provides grants to non-profits working in the field of early childhood development – and he was previously superintendent of schools in Oakland, Calif.