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“We need a new funding formula that fairly funds our schools to jump start the economy, but that is not what the governor is offering.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Rural schools in downstate Illinois need a new school funding formula, and one state senator says the governor needs to finally deliver for the schools, students and taxpayers.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) represents downstate communities such as Danville and Rantoul that would benefit greatly from new formulas that have already been introduced in the legislature.

“Downstate Illinois school districts, particularly rural districts, have struggled for decades because our current funding formula favors wealthy districts,” Bennett said. “With the current state funding formula rigged against kids in poorer ZIP codes, even an enormous funding increase would mean little to the children, parents and property tax payers in our area. We need to fix the formula and not just throw money into a broken system that is rigged for the wealthy.”

Bennett says that while he appreciates the governor visiting schools and hearing firsthand why a formula change is needed, he considers the rhetoric to be an empty promise given that the state is on the verge of entering a third year with no budget under Rauner.

“Some of these downstate communities never recovered since the manufacturing jobs started leaving in the ’80s,” Bennett said. “We need a new funding formula that fairly funds our schools to jump start the economy, but that is not what the governor is offering.”

The plight of schools is expected to get added attention this week when a massive fair-funding rally is planned at the Capitol. A school funding task force appointed by Rauner last year was supposed to come up with a plan to fix this lingering problem with public education but failed to do so.

Senator Bennett has voted for new school funding formulas in the past that would bring more money to downstate schools in places like Rantoul and Danville. Those measures passed the Senate but failed to move in the House.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P. 217.355.5252

Danville Office:
101  W. North Street
Danville, IL 61832
P. 217.442.5252

Springfield Office:
218B State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.2507