A group of lawmakers has finished a proposal to revamp Illinois’ school funding formula. State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) says while you might call some districts winners and some losers under his plan, everybody’s a loser the way it is now.
He says his plan would drive 92 percent, not the current 44 percent, of education money to districts through what he says is a fairer formula, replacing one he says lawmakers have not displayed the will to change in years.
Lawmakers cautioned reporters not to expect a panacea. State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) suggested hopes for reform on mandates or improved test results amount to wanting all the decorations when the bill in question is simply a “Christmas tree.”
Another lawmaker at the rollout announcement – from which Republicans said they were excluded – said questions about matters other than the formula were just diversions. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) said she’s trying to canoe in one river only.
Manar says the problem hits home – his own kids have art class in what’s supposed to be a janitor’s room.