The veto session discussion over a proposed school funding revamp overlooked one little thing. The federal government is obligated to fund 40 percent of special education in Illinois but contributes only 16 percent. The committee hearing about Senate Bill 16 put a spotlight on that problem. “Part of the issue why I slowed down Senate Bill 16,” said State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), the chairwoman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, “is the inadequacy for the special ed community in Illinois. It's unbelievable that we’ve never had that discussion with our fellow congressmen at the federal level and why we’re not getting those dollars.
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“That’s not OK,” she added in her remarks to staff members of the Illinois State Board of Education, as if there were any doubt as to her views. The bill, which passed the Senate in the spring, is meant to make more of elementary and secondary education funding need-based. It’s not being called in the House without changes, Chapa LaVia said.