Expect there to be heated debate in Springfield about whether K-12 education should be funded before or after the state’s decades-old funding formula is reformed.
Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar plans to file an amendment to Senate Bill 231 on Wednesday that he says will address the state’s school funding formula, which Gov. Bruce Rauner, leading Republicans and Democrats have all said needs to be changed. Manar says the proposal gets rid of the Chicago block grant, brings pension parity for the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund and drives state resources to high-need, high-poverty districts. One thing the bill doesn't include is more time to study the issue. Sen. Manar has said that he doesn’t think more time is needed.
Rauner said changing the formula will be difficult and any reform shouldn’t be a precursor to fully funding school districts for the coming fiscal year.