Spending for Illinois education in a flux - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Spending for Illinois education in a flux

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A proposal pending in the State Senate tries to make school funding more equal across the State.

What that means for seven Northwest suburbs in Consolidated District 15 is the state would take about $12 million away from 20 schools of their schools with 12,000 students.

“We're gonna lose close to probably 240 teachers based upon this reduction in funding,” said Palatine’s District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson.

Supt. Thompson said the 8% budget cut could potentially eliminate most extra-curricular activities in the Palatine area's District 15, as well as some in the classroom.

“So, music, art, all those things could be on the chopping block,” added Supt. Thompson.

It's been nearly two decades since the General Assembly last rewrote Illinois' school funding formula.

While the state’s grown slowly since then, there's been much more of it in Chicago and certain suburbs -- at least compared to the economic devastation in some South and West Suburbs and, especially, Downstate.

“We have growth of property values in some parts of the state. We have retraction of property values in other parts of the state. We've seen poverty grow exponentially in just about all parts of the state, unfortunately. But our school funding formula doesn't account for those things,” said Senator Andy Manar.

Manar's downstate district would be a big winner under his proposal, known as Senate Bill 16. His district includes areas hit hard by factory closings, stretching from Decatur to just north of East St. Louis.

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