Metro East schools believe they are losing funding to wealthier - KMOV.com

Metro East schools believe they are losing funding to wealthier districts

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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOV.com) - Illinois school district funding is a heavily criticized system where it is estimated that students in poor districts received 20 percent less state money than students in affluent districts.

In Granite City, a hiring freeze has been put into effect to try to keep their district afloat following the failure of a proposed tax hike to support education earlier in April.

"Basically in Illinois, we have a broken funding formula," said Granite City Superintendent Jim Greenwald.

As some of the poorest school districts in the state, Granite City and Cahokia districts believe they have fallen victim to the Illinois system which sends state aid based on high property values within districts.

"If you're in a poor district where property is not valued that highly, you're just not going to generate much money," said Art Ryan, superintendent in Cahokia. Without million dollar homes in Cahokia, the district does not receive as much state aid.

State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill wants to balance out the funding, in a move that would see $200 million move downstate from Chicago and its suburbs.

"We divest from the poorest districts every year and the inability of the legislature to institute any reform has resulted in a system that is in free fall," said Manar.

Remaining state payments of $1.6 million could be cut due to lack of state funds, leaving Cahokia and Granite City in even more need of additional funding.
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