A Senate Democrat is reiterating Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton’s comments, that funding for Chicago Public Schools will not be a bailout.
Speaking Thursday, Senator Andy Manar said lawmakers must addresses the needs of school districts across the state while reiterating comments from Democratic leaders that the state will not bailout Chicago Public Schools adding, that Schools districts in Elgin, Harvey, and downstate Illinois are facing similar funding issues to their Chicago Counterpart.
“No one is advocating for a bailout for Chicago Public Schools. Chicago’s plight today is the same as any number of rural downstate districts and even suburban districts like Elgin, Harvey, and the south suburbs,” Manar said. “We have to focus more resources on kids that live in poverty.”
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Meanwhile, during his budget address Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner indicated that Chicago Public Schools are benefiting from a $600 million deal, adding any school funding bill that seeks to take funds from one district to another won’t work.
“CPS receives an extra $600 million more every year than school districts with similar student demographics,” Rauner said. “Any school funding reform proposal that involves taking money from one school district and giving it to another is doomed to fail.”
According to Manar, despite a fully funded foundation formula for K-12 schools, districts across the state will continue to endure loses to their bottom line. Manar is asking the State board of education to compile a list of school districts that are in line to continue to lose revenue.
On Wednesday Rauner noted that the state must increase its support for education funding as a measure to prevent communities from losing state funds as part of reforms.
A House task force looking into the school funding formula began work this week.