Senator Andy Manar encouraged Republican senators and Gov. Bruce Rauner to rethink their approach to negotiation after bipartisan talks about details of the Senate's widely anticipated budget deal, the so-called "grand bargain," fell apart unexpectedly March 1 just before several key votes on the package, which included school funding reform, were to take place.

Manar and other Democratic senators, including Don Harmon of Oak Park and Heather Steans of Chicago, appeared at a news conference at the Capitol to explain what happened and express their frustration with Republicans' approach to the negotiations. Manar likened it to a constant merry-go-round of chasing the same issues over and over again.


Category: School Funding Reform

Members of the governor's commission on school funding reform met for the first time Aug. 3 in Chicago to begin assessing the best path forward for overhauling the state's education funding formula.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is one of 25 members appointed to to the panel.

The commission heard from several education experts, including Michael Griffith, a school financial strategist with the Colorado-based Education Commission of the States.

Slides from three presentations at the commission's first meeting are below.


State of Illinois slides for the governor's school funding reform commission, meeting 1:


Slides for Michael Griffiths, Education Commission of the States:


Illinois State Board of Education slides:

Category: School Funding Reform

d48 schoolsSPRINGFIELD- Schools throughout the 48th district will receive increased state funding next year under a bipartisan plan approved by Illinois Senate on Thursday.

“This is just a small step in the right direction,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “Our true task remains unchanged because we still own the most regressive system of school funding in the country. Until we address that truth, and fix the formula, our work isn’t done.”

The plan would fully fund the state’s foundation level, and then funnel an additional $250 million to schools through an equity grant. The equity grant would target schools that have high levels of low-income students.

These suggested spending levels also ensure that no school receives less funding than a year ago.

“We know the formula must be fixed, and I’m hopeful that when we return to Springfield in the fall we will continue our effort to craft a comprehensive school funding reform package,” Manar said.


Category: School Funding Reform

joint statement picSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Representative Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago), the sponsors of SB 231, released the following statement after the Illinois General Assembly approved a K-12 education budget without enacting permanent reform to the inequitable funding formula:

“Let’s be clear about what happened today. We took action to ensure that schools can open without disruption in the fall. In addition, the creation of a new equity grant for schools is evidence of bi-partisan support for structural reform to our current system.

“However, our true task remains unchanged because we still own the most regressive system of school funding in the country. Until we address that truth, and fix the formula, our work isn’t done.

Read more: Without permanent reform, education funding continues to promote inequity

Category: School Funding Reform

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