EAST ST. LOUIS – Local legislators, parents and community stakeholders gathered with State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Monday to call for support of Manar’s school funding reform proposal.

“East St. Louis is a great example of how our current school funding formula promotes inequity,” Manar said. “These schools are doing the best they can with very limited resources, and yet their state funding is continually cut every single year. The current system does not address, nor does it understand, the needs of students in East St. Louis.”

Manar is the sponsor of Senate Bill 231, a proposed re-write of the state’s school funding formula that would funnel state money to districts based on the needs of their students.

The state’s current formula for funding education, adopted in 1997, created a system in which school spending varies drastically. Currently, some schools spend as much as $30,000 per student, while others can only afford about $6,000. Manar’s proposal targets state dollars to schools where the dollars can produce the biggest academic turnaround among students. Examples would be schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty, students with disabilities and English learners.

Senate Bill 231 provides that state funding for education would be distributed based on student need while ensuring that no district would receive less state money than it did in the 2015-16 school year.

“Continuing to pour money into our broken formula will not solve the inherent problem,” said Manar “With this plan, we will continue to prioritize education, but also spends taxpayer dollars in a more efficient way.”

Senate Bill 231 is currently awaiting approval in the State Senate.

Category: School Funding Reform

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