FloorSPRINGFIELD—As Springfield District 186 students celebrated the last day of school Friday, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted for a $7 billion state education plan that would allow schools to open in August unless Gov. Bruce Rauner rejects the plan.

“This year we are able to not only provide an overall increase to education funding, but we’re also targeting an additional $85 million to help impoverished schools and students,” Manar said.

This year’s education spending plan represents a $295 million dollar increase of direct aid to schools: a $207 million dollar increase to General State Aid as well as an $85 million increase to school districts with high poverty and fewer available local resources.

“This is a less regressive, more need-based approach to school funding than the General Assembly has put forward in over a decade. We are taking steps in the right direction to make school funding fair and equitable for the students with the most need,” Manar said.

The Senate approved this increase Friday, which had been previously approved by the House. It requires the governor’s approval to fund school districts for the next school year.

This proposal is supported by a diverse group of education groups from across the state:

•    Faith Coalition for the Common Good
•    Advance Illinois
•    Aurora East School District 131
•    Calhoun Unified School District C4
•    Chicago Urban League
•    ED-Red
•    Galesburg School District 205
•    Granite City Community School District
•    Illinois Education Association
•    Instituto del Progreso del Latino
•    Large Unit District Association (LUDA)
•    LaSalle Elementary School District
•    Latino Policy Forum
•    Legislative Education Network of DuPage County (LEND)
•    LULAC of IL (League of United Latin American Citizens)
•    Monmouth-Roseville School District
•    North Chicago School District 187
•    North Mac District 34
•    Quad County Urban League
•    Rockford Public Schools 205
•    South Cooperative Organization for Public Education (SCOPE)
•    Stand for Children
•    Tri County Urban League
•    U-46
•    Waukegan School District 60

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