Senate Split on Best Way to Fund K-12 Education

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Springfield - A good education is an essential part of life.

The goal is to get a good education, get into college, and hopefully get a good job upon graduating.

However, schools across the state have received fewer and fewer state dollars in recent years.

"When you hear proration, it is a cut, period.  Plain and simple.  And for the last six years, K-12 has been cut, period.  Plain and simple," said Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).

Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) added, "a hundred percent funding means for the existing formula the districts who need it the most are going to get more of the money the would see if proration continues."

While Republicans are calling for an increase in spending on education, Democrats like Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said that they want to make sure that increased funding is being spent responsibly.

"Now they're calling for more spending.  At the same time, they're arguing against higher education funding.  I think the idea that we just go throw more money at a broken system is a flawed concept.  And that's what the governor's budget provides.  Simply spending more money in the system we have today isn't going to fix that," said Manar.

Manar also said that while some districts are worried about saving sports teams or the latest computer each year, some districts are worried about having outdated materials.

"Issues like those facing Taylorville 20 year-old text books or laying off 40% of its teaching staff; those are growing more and more and more," he added.

Both the Senate and House will return to Springfield in two weeks.

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