School Funding Proposal Bases Funding on Need

Published 05/08 2014 06:10PM

Updated 05/08 2014 06:12PM

A plan to streamline the state’s education funding by requiring districts to show need before receiving money, could be a boost to many downstate schools.

Under the proposed legislation, the state would distribute funds based on the district’s poverty levels and students receiving free lunches.

The State Board of Education has released information on how the plan would impact schools.

In our area, Pekin would see increased funding of 28 percent.

Peoria District 150 would get an increase of nearly 17 percent.

Limestone District 310 would get an increase of more than 20 percent.

Limestone superintendent, Allan Gresham says he keeps a close eye on all funding proposals being floated around in Springfield.

A 20 percent increase in funding over 2013 would be good for his school.

He also cautions funding in 2013 was only 89 percent of what it should have been.

“We are running a deficit in our budget in particularly our education fund.  So, quite frankly, this additional revenue, if you want to look at it that way would be something that would help offset our current education fund deficit,” said Allan Gresham, Limestone Superintendent.

Not all area schools would receive funding increases.

We did some further checking.

McLean Unit 5 would receive 15 percent less funding than 2013 and Bloomington District 87 would receive eight percent less funding.

"Yes, it starts to try to equal things across the state, but it's arguable to whether it does that. There are no new revenue sources. So, they're just taking the same amount of money and distributing it differently. That doesn't solve the problem," said Dr. Barry Reilly, District 87 Superintendent.

According to the report, many suburban Chicago counties stand to lose the most revenue under the proposal.

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