State bd. of edu., lawmakers voting to restore school dist. $$

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Board of Education plans to vote on a plan to feed $97 million into Illinois schools with the greatest funding needs.

Lawmakers heard testimony on the proposal during a Senate appropriations committee Tuesday, with a vote expected Wednesday.

The board's plan would restore 95% of funding to about 30 of the school districts. The money was cut in a March budget deal.

The bipartisan agreement to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole came with more than $1.3 billion in fund transfers and a 2.25% across-the-board cut to state funding. It also gave Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner authority over $97 million to distribute to needy schools.

Rauner has pledged to increase funding for schools but signed the deal with cuts that include state aid for education.

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