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The last time the method of education funding was addressed by the Illinois legislature was in 1997 under Gov. Jim Edgar.
He tried to convince the General Assembly that the method used in Illinois was out of date then and was inequitable, said Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and if it was out of date then, it is far more so now.
Manar is the driving force behind Senate Bill 16, which seeks to change the distribution of education funds but not the amount. Addressing the amount of funds is an issue to be dealt with later, he said at a forum held on Thursday in the Decatur Civic Center Theater. The forum was sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland Co., WSOY and the Herald & Review. The first order of business is to change the current model of distribution.
“The funds should attach need as a criteria,” Manar said. “The school formula hasn't changed in 17 years. We have to account for poverty, and many more districts are grappling with poverty.”