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CHICAGO — Illinois' landmark school funding reform legislation represents compromise between Democrats and Republicans and is the result of years of hard work and grassroots advocacy, State Senator Andy Manar said during a bill-signing ceremony in Chicago.

Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, is the chief sponsor of the measure, which was signed into law Aug. 31 at a Chicago elementary school by Gov. Bruce Rauner

"This legislation ends the least equitable system of school funding in the country. We know that. We indicted the system," said Manar, a longtime proponent of overhauling Illinois' worst-in-the-nation school funding formula. "We put something in place that would correct all of the ills that surround it, and it is proof that even in a polarized system grassroots advocacy works."

Manar added that the legislation wages a war on poverty in classrooms throughout Illinois.

"It ends a great racial divide that we have in this state. We know that in Illinois there is no greater divide between investment in minority students and investment in their white counterparts. That is a stain on our state. The governor's signature is giong to correct that," he said. "It also stares down rural poverty. This bill wlll put resources in the poorest classrooms in rural counties in southern Illinois."

Category: School Funding Reform

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SPRINGFIELD – An unprecedented overhaul of how Illinois funds public schools is on its way to the governor’s desk and should result in additional funding for schools in Bunker Hill, Gillespie, Decatur, Taylorville, Carlinville, Staunton and elsewhere throughout the 48th Senate District.

“Students, parents, teachers and taxpayers deserve better than what Illinois has been offering. Finally, we have a plan that lays the groundwork for local schools to be fairly funded by the state,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the long-overdue revamp of the state’s school finance system.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the measure Thursday afternoon in Chicago.

Once he does, schools will be funded through an evidence-based model that prioritizes funding for schools that are the farthest away from adequacy. The model ensures no schools lose money, eliminates the current system of winning and losing school districts, and offers financial certainty to school districts annually when they embark on crafting their budgets for the upcoming schoolyear.

Although the plan is a big win for area schools, Manar said he was disappointed that Republicans insisted that a private school tax credit program be included before they would vote for it and before Gov. Rauner would sign it.

Republicans inserted a tax credit for people who donate to scholarship programs at private schools that benefit low-income students.

Once that provision was included, Rauner and the Republicans ended their opposition to the comprehensive education overhaul package.

“Personally, I oppose this type of tax credit program for private schools. But it’s the price the governor and Republicans demanded for their votes so that we could finally enact a fair public school funding system,” Manar said. “At the end of the day, this is a substantial improvement for the schools in this area, and that’s why I supported it.”

(Pictured: Senator Andy Manar and Representative Will Davis pose with school superintendents and advocates in the Illinois Capitol rotunda following the Senate's historic vote to overhaul the state's school funding formula and send legislation to the governor's desk on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.)

Read more: Manar delivers historic win for local schools

Category: School Funding Reform

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the Senate sponsor of the school funding reform legislation under negotiation by legislative leaders, issued the following statement this evening:

“I am encouraged that the legislative leaders appear to have reached an agreement in concept on school funding reform. As many have reiterated time and again for years on end, the inequities that deepen with each passing day in our public schools are a horrible stain on our great state. The status quo is unjust and immoral. Our goal is simple: create a system that is both adequate and equitable for all children. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this job done.”

In the news: School funding agreement 'in concept' reached | The Associated Press

In the news:'Historic' school funding deal reached, leaders say | Chicago Sun-Times

In the news:Democrats, Republicans say tentative deal reached on school funding | Chicago Tribune

In the news:Superintendents want quick action on school funding reform | The State Journal-Register

In the news: Manar continues push for school funding reform | WBGZ Radio

Category: School Funding Reform

SPRINGFIELD — Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to today’s leaders’ meeting about school funding reform and cancellation of Wednesday’s House override vote:

“Three weeks ago, Representative Will Davis and I respectfully asked Governor Rauner to allow lawmakers to continue negotiations on Senate Bill 1 so that we could avoid having a divisive veto override vote. He did not extend to lawmakers on both side of the aisle that were actively engaged in negotiations the courtesy of additional time. Instead, he issued a dismantling veto of SB 1.

“Nevertheless, I am pleased that negotiations took shape today and appear to be promising. They should continue. But it bears repeating that the uncertainty over school funding needs to end — next week at the latest.

“Inequity in our schools needs to end. It’s time to bring this debate that has spanned a generation to a close, either through a bipartisan agreement or through an override of the governor’s veto in the House. One way or another we must fix this broken formula, right now.”

Category: School Funding Reform

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