Education funding
3:21 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Manar: Public School Funding Needs Overhaul

Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill)
Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill)

  Illinois schools have seen state funding cut again and again in recent years. A Democratic lawmaker wants to change how that money is distributed. But it remains to be whether they can get more money in the system.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says inequality is basically guaranteed by Illinois' complicated education funding laws. That's because it's based on property taxes, so schools in impoverished areas can struggle to get by.

After months of public hearings, Manar says he'll soon file legislation to change the funding formula. But he says that won't include anything about overall spending on schools.

Sen Andy Manar presented a new school funding formula on behalf of the Education Funding Advisory Committee.
Sen Andy Manar presented a new school funding formula on behalf of the Education Funding Advisory Committee.

"We're never going to have that conversation until we get this right," he said. "We have to earn the right to have that conversation. And that starts first with getting a distribution formula that I think people can believe in and trust as working for the state."

But any change in state funding brings winners and losers, which can make this a difficult political issue.