Illinois School Districts File Suit Against State for Funding

SPRINGFIELD, Il. (KMOX) – Seventeen Illinois school districts claim in a lawsuit that the state has failed to adequately fund public education.

Some Metro East superintendents joined counterparts from other areas in central and southern Illinois. They contend the state has fallen short of its constitutional duty to provide a “high quality education” for all students.

Cahokia Superintendent Art Ryan says the state’s been “prorating” since 2011, holding back about 11 percent of the money promised.

“The amount of monies cut from each district varies, but it’s proportional with the district’s annual budget,” Ryan says. “For Cahokia, we have been shorted $14 million over the past years.

Ryan adds the state has been withholding money since at least 2011 through “proration.” That’s not the case this year, but money for special education and other categorical areas hasn’t flowed at all. He says putting more burden on property tax payers isn’t sustainable.

He says Cahokia can only earn more money through property tax hikes – but at $13 and $0.08 cents per $100 assessed valuation, the district’s levy is already among the highest in the state.

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