While acknowledging the need for a new state funding formula for education, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said the best way to serve Illinois’ students in the short-term is by fully funding the current education formula established to equalize school districts’ property wealth.
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Governor Bruce Rauner is seeking to fully fund the state’s Foundation Level for education for the first time in seven years, increasing General State Aid (GSA) by $55 million to meet the $6,119 per student Foundation Level.
“We need to fully fund the Foundation Level for the children. If we want to help students and we want to help our school districts, then this is the best thing we can do for them while we continue the dialogue on establishing a new system of funding education in Illinois,” said Radogno.
Radogno noted that as lawmakers work together to resolve the issue of education funding fairness in Illinois, the state should finally meet its statutory obligation to fund the foundation level for education—without exception.
“The Senate President has suggested that funding for suburban or downstate school districts should be withheld to force a state bailout of Chicago Public Schools, and that is unacceptable. We’re willing to help CPS get back on its feet, and we’ve put forth commonsense ideas that have not, so far, been considered by our Democrat colleagues,” said Radogno. “However, there is no way we will support a $500 million bailout of CPS. To imply all funding for K-12 education be held hostage until that happens flies in the face of our fundamental goal of ensuring all Illinois students receive the quality education they need and deserve.”
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