Lawmakers Introduce Bill Changing School Funding

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A group of Democratic lawmakers Wednesday introduced a long-awaited piece of legislation that would dramatically change the way schools are funded in Illinois for the first time since 1997.

The sponsors call the measure the most comprehensive way to ensure equity across the state but say there's still work to do in gaining broad support on the regionally divisive issue.

The legislation would streamline the state's school funding formula to require districts to demonstrate need before receiving money.

The current method factors in a district's poverty for some types of state aid but not others.

Critics calling for a change say the poorest districts that can't rely on property taxes to offset funding cuts often get hurt the most.

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