- Published: Friday, November 06, 2015 02:00 PM
COLLINSVILLE – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) discussed progress on school funding reform and gave an update on Illinois’ ongoing budget crisis during a Mississippi Valley Association of School Business Officials meeting Friday.
“These officials know better than anyone the stark financial stresses facing Illinois schools and the impact those stresses have on students. They work every day to keep the lights on and pinch every penny,” Manar said.
MVASBO invited Manar to give an update on the state’s current budget impasse and discuss the ongoing efforts to reform Illinois school funding.
Christopher Norman, MVASBO Regional Chair and Director of Finance for the Alton School District, said that the organization appreciates Manar taking the time to meet with the organization and his efforts to address school funding in Illinois.
“School districts in our region, and throughout Illinois, are facing serious financial constraints due to losses of state funding as well as reduced local property values. We appreciate any effort to bring attention to this issue and address funding in an evidence-based manner," Norman said.
Illinois’ education funding is the only segment of the state budget approved by both lawmakers and the governor. This year, lawmakers included an additional $85 million in grants to schools in financial need.
“If we are serious about turning Illinois around we need to start by fixing our schools. We’ve made positive advances recently, but more lasting reforms are needed,” Manar said.
The education funding reform proposal sponsored by Manar would assign more funding to schools based on the needs of students. It prioritizes money to schools based on poverty rates, students with special needs, transportation costs, bi-lingual students and vocational training as well as AP course offerings.
Mississippi Valley ASBO is a twelve county regional division of Illinois ASBO, which is devoted to the school business management profession. It provides member schools and stakeholders with a comprehensive range of professional development activities, services and advocacy through networking and participation.