The chairman of the state Board of Education is happy to have more school funding, but he'd like even more.
School funding for the state fiscal year that started Wednesday will be up by $245 million from last year, and state board Chairman James T. Meeks is proud that this is the one area of the budget the governor didn't veto. But Meeks, who was in the State Senate for a decade, from 2003-13, wanted more.
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"My proposal always was to increase the income taxes, and to put $2 billion into education. The governor that we have, his position is that in order to increase income taxes, we need some 'turnarounds,' and he doesn't want to do one without the other," he told reporters in Chicago after he delivered a speech to the City Club of Chicago.
Asked whether he agreed with the governor's position, Meeks said "I'm not the governor."
-- Meeks says he likes "a whole lot" about S.B. 1, the proposal to change the school funding formula. He is perplexed as to why a formula change hasn't already occurred, since it has been debated for decades.
-- He said the new state education budget has $85 million in it to shore up impoverished school districts, the most in six years.