State senate approves public education funding change

May 28, 2014

The Illinois Senate Tuesday approved a measure to completely change how the state's public schools are funded. The plan would shift state resources from schools with more property tax wealth to more impoverished areas. But that shift of resources creates winners and losers. Senator Dale Righter, a Republican from Mattoon, says he cannot vote to create "losers" ... even if his area would benefit from the change.

 "My district wins. My schools, almost uniformly ... would get more money than they do now. They absolutely would. ...For me, this issue is larger than the fourteen counties I represent. Because there are more kids who go to school than just the fourteen counties I represent."

 But supporters of the legislation argue the schools that would receive less state funding are easily able to compensate for the loss with local property taxes. They say that's what poor schools have had to do for the last two decades, with far less valuable property to tax.