State School Funding Fix Aimed at Disparities

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The geographic breakdown of impacts from a proposed overhaul of state school funding explains the divided and emotional reaction among lawmakers and educators.

An analysis by the state board of education shows that in southern and central Illinois proposed changes would mean a boost in state funding for 410 of 575 school districts.

By contrast, 69 of 78 districts in Cook County would lose funding. Another 122 of 143 districts in the collar counties would see major funding cuts.

The proposal would require districts to demonstrate need for state aid.

It was welcomed by downstate superintendents lobbying for changes at the Capitol last week. It simultaneously was blasted by suburban lawmakers and superintendents who say it would force unfair property tax hikes to maintain education levels in their districts.

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