EDWARDSVILLE – Newly elected State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) joined local educators from around the region Tuesday to discuss ways to improve education in the state.

Manar fielded questions and shared his ideas on what should be accomplished in the upcoming session of the General Assembly during the Illinois Education Association Region 5 dinner in Edwardsville. One of the major issues Manar has been focusing on is the disparity in school funding in Illinois and the different ways the issue can be addressed.

“Where you live shouldn’t determine how much is invested in your child’s education,” Manar said. “There are serious disparities in funding for schools throughout our state and the situation gets worse every year. We need to refocus our state on helping those whose needs for too long have been neglected.”

Manar said that some school districts in the suburbs of Chicago spend three or four times more per student than his home school district in Bunker Hill. 

“We are a small district in Bunker Hill but we have teachers who work hard every day and make a difference in the lives of their students under difficult circumstances,” Manar said. 

Lawmakers for decades have discussed major reform ideas to combat this problem.  Manar said that the Legislature hasn’t made the issue as much of a priority as it should be.

Manar, who has his Illinois Teacher Certification, also discussed the need to recruit and retain quality teachers and personnel.

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Andy Manar (D – Bunker Hill) was sworn in today as the Illinois State Senator for the 48th Legislative District.

“I consider it a privilege to represent the residents of the 48th District in Springfield,” Manar said. “The voters of Central Illinois have entrusted me to work together with fellow Democrats and Republicans in balancing our budget, improving education opportunities for our children, and ensuring our business community has the tools necessary to grow and expand.”

Manar comes to Springfield after serving as the Chairman of the Macoupin County Board, where his leadership led to a balanced budget at a time of a significant loss in tax revenue due to the closing of several mines throughout the county.

Read more: Senator Manar sworn in to 98th General Assembly

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On Wednesday, April 2, a group of Senators introduced the School Funding Reform Act of 2014, a proposal to streamline the current hodgepodge of funding sources into one funding formula that will account for school districts’ funding needs.

Illinois has the second-most inequitable school funding system in the nation, and that funding system is doing a disservice to taxpayers, school districts and, most importantly, our children. The proposed funding system will better address student needs, such as socio-economic background, language ability or special learning needs, while also accounting for a school district’s ability to raise funds locally. You can read more about the bill by clicking here.

Click here or on the image above to add your name to the list of those who support taking this important step towards reforming our education funding.

Click on the video below to hear Senator Manar discuss the importance of education funding reform:

Click below to read more on Senator Manar's efforts to reform education funding in Illinois.

Read more: Voice Your Support for Education Funding Reform

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