New School Funding Proposal Downstate

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Would funding public schools be done better if income taxes footed most of the bill? That's exactly what House Bill 755 is proposing, seeking to increase income taxes by nearly six billion dollars, and decrease property taxes by three billion dollars - with most of the bucks going to schools.

"Most people support more income and less property taxes. I agree with both of those ideas. It's just pushing across those details," Illinois state senator Dave Syverson said.

But standing in front of those details is arguably the legislation's biggest obstacle: the governor. Rod Blagojevich has stated he won't support education funding reform which shifts spending from property to income taxes. With only days remaining in the legislative session, area district leaders are heading to the state capitol Thursday, to make their funding reform voice be heard.

"The fact that they are coming down to Springfield is good. It gives them a chance to share their concerns with other leaders and put the pressure on the governor and the governor's office that we need to do something about how schools are funded," Syverson said.

In Rockford, opinion is mixed on whether per pupil spending should come from real estate taxes, or individual paychecks.

"It would be better to do it with a sales tax. I don't have any kids, and I'm paying for schools, which isn't benefiting me or my family," Rainer Scholze said.

"It's always good to find different ways to fund the school districts. The current way is going down the tubes I think," Alexander Kunets said.

Public school district funding: an issue state lawmakers continue pursuing, an issue which remains unchanged downstate.


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