Senate passes Illinois school funding compromise

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The Illinois Senate has approved a new system for funding schools that will reduce large disparities between wealthy and poor districts.

Legislators voted 38-13 on Tuesday to approve the plan that passed the House on Monday. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he'll sign the bill quickly to get state money to more than 800 districts that have been waiting for funding for the new school year.

WGN News has learned Rauner will sign the bill Thursday.

Lawmakers have tried for decades to overhaul a school funding formula that's considered the least equitable in the U.S.

The new plan provides more money to all school districts. It also provides $75 million for a tax credit for people who donated to private school scholarships. That drew criticism from teacher unions, some school officials and lawmakers.

 

It's rare that both Governor Rauner and Mayor Emanuel put out statements expressing support on the same issue.

Governor Rauner, "We have put aside our differences and put our kids first. It's a historic day for Illinois."

And Mayor Emanuel said, “The Senate’s approval of SB 1947 is another win for children and communities throughout the Land of Lincoln."