Education fund proposal

By Alex Davis |

Published 04/03 2014 11:34AM

Updated 04/04 2014 01:11PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Another way to pay for education is being talked about at the State Capital. It would give money to poor districts first, before anyone else. The lawmakers presenting this plan say the state's school funding system is outdated and needs an overhaul.

They claim, their proposal would make sure funds are distributed more fairly. Illinois educators are all too familiar with the state's education funding problems.

"The amount of resources districts have, varies so much, and I don't feel like we're able to provide the same services to all our students."

Especially when it comes to disparities between rich and poor districts.

"Our students don't have the same opportunities which prepare them to go compete."

But a new bill addresses those concerns and the sponsors say it would equalize the playing field.

"What we're asking lawmakers to do is to balance the needs of their particular district, with the needs of the state."

It'd create a single funding formula and through it, districts would be funded based on their ability to pay.

"If the formula isn't fair, and if the formula isn't directing the dollars in the right places, it wouldn't be benefiting us as an overall state to bring the bottom up."

Also part of the plan, resources would be prioritized, more dollars would go to where there are greater student needs.

"I just think we need to do a better job of bringing the bottom up and finding a better system and a better way of educating those kids."

Teachers say this idea gives them hope.

"This is the first concrete evidence that I've seen in my career, of something substantial being put forward."

Also a part of this bill, the Chicago Block Grant would be eliminated and the sponsors say the legislation would provide more transparency on how funds would be spent.

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