Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is challenging lawmakers to address the state’s school funding formula, something he says is outdated, but opponents fear a reform could lead to higher property taxes in some areas.
During a presentation in front of the City Club of Chicago Monday Cullerton said Illinois’ school funding formula is the most inequitable system in the country.
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said she’s willing to tackle school funding reform but in a statement says “it’s not the only place in Illinois ripe for reform.”
“We need to work together for school reform and the structural reforms that will help all of Illinois,” Radogno said.
Meanwhile Cullerton said Chicago Public Schools are underfunded because of how the district has to pick up most of teachers’ pensions.
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“Illinois is spending $2,366 per student on pensions in school districts outside of Chicago,” Cullerton said. “In Chicago, the state spends $31. It’s time to treat public schools in Chicago like every other school district in Illinois.”
Last week Radogno, alongside Representative Jim Durkin, proposed having the state take over CPS with a state imposed board and to even possibly work towards allowing for bankruptcy, if necessary.
As to the school funding formula being proposed, Republican Representative Jeanne Ives is critical saying Chicago already gets more than their fair share of tax dollars and homeowners in her suburban district are leaving because they're tired of picking up the balance in higher property taxes.