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Fixing Illinois School Aid

WVIK Staff

Leaders of one local district are trying to build public support for a major change in how schools are funded in Illinois. 

East Moline superintendent Kristin Humphries says currently state aid is based solely on the number of students in a district, but that ignores the very different needs of different types of students.
Illinois is currently pro-rating state aid at 92 per cent of the current per-pupil level. And Humphries says that's costing the East Moline schools more than 400 dollars per student, or a total of 1.1 million dollars a year. 

Pro-ration cost EM $436 per student, while wealthy districts have lost as little as $30.

His suggestion is to come up with a formula that balances student needs with the financial strength of local districts - more for East Moline compared to wealthy suburban school districts with high property values.  

A bill sponsored by state senator Andy Manar from central Illinois (Bunker Hill) would base state school aid on a weighted formula, taking into account each student's needs with the relative "wealth" of the district. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.