Illinois governor set to sign school funding overhaul


By SARA BURNETT and SOPHIA TAREEN
Related Press

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is about to signal laws Thursday that may change the best way the state funds faculties, a plan he stated will guarantee each youngster “will get an opportunity at a superb schooling no matter their mother and father’ revenue” or the place they stay.

In addition to distributing state assist extra equitably, the lengthy-sought deal the Legislature accredited this week provides districts extra flexibility on state mandates, permits residents in nicely-funded districts to scale back their property taxes and creates a brand new tax credit score for donations to non-public faculty scholarships.

It additionally offers greater than $430 million in new funding to Chicago Public Faculties. That is roughly $one hundred fifty million greater than the quantity Rauner stripped from an earlier plan and railed towards as a “bailout.” Requested Wednesday concerning the turnaround, the Republican stated the measure is a compromise and consists of “most of the objectives I beneficial.”

This is a take a look at the plan:

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AID TO DISTRICTS

For many years, Illinois faculties have relied closely on property taxes, creating large disparities between rich and poor districts.

Underneath the brand new plan, Illinois will think about how a lot cash districts have to adequately educate their college students and the way a lot cash they will generate from property taxes. State assist shall be prioritized to districts that want probably the most assist bridging the hole between these two numbers.

No faculty will lose cash this yr in contrast with final yr.

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CHICAGO

The state will start masking the price of pensions for academics in Chicago, simply as Illinois does for all different districts.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Democrats who lead the Illinois Home and Senate have lobbied for the change for years, saying it is unfair that Chicago taxpayers need to foot the invoice for his or her academics’ pensions whereas additionally paying taxes that fund pensions outdoors the town.

The change means the state can pay $221 million for CPS pensions this yr, up from about $12 million final yr. CPS is also getting further state assist, and legislators gave the board of schooling authority to boost at the very least $one hundred twenty million extra in further property taxes, additionally to assist with pension prices.

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STATE MANDATES



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