Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has written an opinion piece on priority that should be placed on school funding reform in 2016. In part, Cullerton states:
"As many people around the state realize, Illinois' nearly 20-year-old formula penalizes communities with higher levels of poverty and rewards those that are more prosperous. It also fails students who have greater educational needs.
"It's unfair, and it cannot stand. It's time to turn around the way Illinois funds education and its children's futures. We need a formula that levels the playing field and drives dollars to the students who need them the most....
"We need a new approach, and we need it now. That means a single, straightforward model with less bureaucracy and no more special deals for some districts; more state resources to students who need extra support because of poverty, special learning needs and language barriers; and consideration of a district's ability to support local schools with local money. ...
"Overhauling the way we support our public schools is the challenge of our time. It should be our No. 1 priority in 2016."
The complete text of Cullerton's commentary, as it appears in the State Journal-Register, can be read here:
Senate President John Cullerton:
School funding reform must be top priority for 2016
Sen. John Cullerton, State Journal-Register, Springfield, January 24