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LINCOLN SQUARE — Chicago Public Schools has been operating in financial crisis mode for years, and the solution to the district's perpetual funding woes could be as simple as taxing services like haircuts, according to one finance expert.
The idea was promoted by Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, who was among the speakers at a budget forum hosted Monday night by the education advocacy group Raise Your Hand.
Illinois ranks dead last in state funding of education despite being the fifth richest in the U.S. with a $745 billion economy, noted Martire, one of the speakers at the meeting at Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave.
The state needs to contribute more to education, and how it gets there is by raising the state income tax — to as much as 5 percent — and expanding the state sales tax to include not just goods but consumer services, he said.