“Illinois is a patchwork of have and have-not districts. Rich districts pump out highly educated, college-ready students. Poor districts decay. Poverty persists.”
The Southern Illinoisan’s recent editorial focuses on the funding inequity that continues to plague Illinois’ public schools, focusing on Hamilton County Unit 10 school district as an example of a downstate district that would be stronger with funding equity.
The editorial further highlights the circumstances of Hamilton County:“The annual median household income in Hamilton County is about $17,000 less than the state's, says the U.S. Census Bureau. It's a county that's older, poorer and less educated than statewide norms, says a 2008 Connect SI study.”
Aside from the income and education gaps faced by Hamilton County, its public schools remain underfunded and lacking resources that many other districts do not face. Sen. Andy Manar’s SB 1 bill would modernize the state funding formula for public education, providing more resources for needy districts to help level the playing field from a funding perspective. But, as the budget impasse continues to linger in Springfield, this bill like many others has not moved during the legislative session.