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School funding overhaul advances in Ill. Senate

Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 12:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 10:09 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Seth Perlman)
Illinois state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, testifies during a Senate executive committee hearing at the state Capitol April 8, 2014, in Springfield Ill. State lawmakers are proposing to dramatically overhaul the stateís school funding formula for the first time since 1997. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Caption
(Seth Perlman)
Illinois Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, left, looks on as Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, right, testifies during a Senate executive committee hearing at the state Capitol April 8, 2014, in Springfield Ill. State lawmakers are proposing to dramatically overhaul the stateís school funding formula for the first time since 1997. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would dramatically change the way schools are funded in Illinois for the first time since 1997 is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.

The legislation is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill. It would streamline the state's school funding formula by requiring districts to demonstrate need before receiving money.

The current method factors in a district's poverty for some types of state aid but not others.

Manar says the bill creates equity between districts that have rich property tax bases and poorer districts.

But Republican critics say they want more details before signing on to the proposal.

A subcommittee in the state Senate passed the measure on Tuesday. The legislation faces another vote by a Senate committee before it heads to the full chamber.

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