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State

Illinois Senate passes school funding bill

SPRINGFIELD – A plan to overhaul the way Illinois funds its schools cleared an important hurdle in the Legislature.

The Senate voted 32-19 on Tuesday to pass a plan that would require schools to demonstrate need before receiving money.

That would reduce the amount of state aid that wealthier districts receive. The current method, in place since 1997, factors in a district’s poverty for some types of state aid but not others.

Republicans say they oppose the plan because it will force property tax increases to support schools.

Democrat state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring the legislation. He said the plan is one step toward fairly funding schools but admits there’s work to do. The legislation now moves to the House.

– Wire report

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