News Local/State

GOP Opposition To School Funding Bill Irks Sen. Manar

Senator Andy Manar testifies during a Senate Committee hearing in April.

In this April 8, 2014 file photo, Illinois state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, testifies during a Senate committee hearing at the Capitol in Springfield Ill. Manar has revised an education funding reform proposal in the hopes of gaining more bipartisan support. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

House Republicans are stepping into the fray to try to stymie a school-funding overhaul that would shift money to impoverished districts.

Rep. Ron Sandack (R- Downers Grove) has filed a resolution urging the House to kill the Senate-approved initiative.
The overhaul is being sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill.)  He told reporters Monday that his legislation would fix a broken, unfair funding formula.

He said it's necessary and has had input from all over the state.  But he's facing opposition from those in areas where schools would have funding cut, particularly some Chicago suburbs. 

“What we have to balance that against is we have districts in all parts of the state, not just in some parts of the state, where there isn't a single art teacher," he said.  "Not a single art teacher. There could be a child that enrolls in the Mulberry Grove School District in kindergarten and when they graduate as a senior, they will have never taken an art class. That's unacceptable. "
Lawmakers from wealthier Chicago suburbs object to the "reallocation'' and "deep budget reductions'' some districts would face.
The Associated Press has reported that majority House Democrats have discussed the proposal and plan hearings after the November election.