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Education Panel Calls for More Equitable School Funding

After six months of meetings, a panel charged with finding a more equitable way to fund Illinois public schools wrapped up its work today.

The group’s final report plants a flag on a path toward addressing this state’s notoriously inequitable school funding structure, by promising that any new allocation of dollars will go first to the poorest districts. But the bi-partisan commission stopped short of crafting actual legislation, despite having focused all along on a specific plan favored by Governor Bruce Rauner.

State Senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, says he and his colleagues have too many unresolved questions about that plan:

“If you go back to the meeting on Monday, we commissioners got a look at some of the outcomes in terms of real numbers, and I walked away from that meeting with many, many concerns.”

One thing the commission did agree on: The cost of achieving adequacy across the state starts with an additional 3.5 billion dollars.