An effort to change how Illinois funds its public schools has bipartisan support.
State Senator Jason Barickman announced Thursday a bi-partisan effort to change how Illinois funds public schools. The Republican from Bloomington is joining with Senator Andy Manar and will join the conversation with a proposal based on what teachers suggest.
Senator Manar announced last week he's tweaked last year's Senate Bill 16 state funding reform proposal and hopes the revision will help build support in the Legislature this year. This effort will be Senate Bill 1.
Local educators attacked Manar's proposal last fall as unfair because it would take state aid money from districts with high property tax bases and give it to those in less affluent areas.
The new version of Manar's bill would account for cost-of-living differences between districts in addition to property tax differences.
Barickman said that before redistribution is considered, the Legislature must fix a funding formula that schools, taxpayers and legislators don't understand.
Barickman said "Taxpayers deserve confidence that their dollars are being spent effectively and efficiently in support of our education system."
That type of funding is recommended by educators statewide in Vision 20/20, a policy plan they published late last year and continue to promote.