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Republican Lawmakers Want To End Special State Funding For CPS

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Some Republican lawmakers have renewed an effort to end one of the state funding sources for the Chicago Public Schools, so districts outside the city can get more money.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports state Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) has sponsored legislation that would eliminate so-called “block grant” funding for CPS.

“This block grant is a separate funding stream granted to Chicago Public Schools, which allows the school district to bypass funding formulas used for all other school districts in the state,” she said.

Althoff said the block grant allows CPS to get twice the state funding the district would receive if it used only the standard state formula for public school money.

She and other GOP lawmakers said the block grant funding for CPS is unfair to other districts, especially for a school system reportedly rife with fraud and waste.

“It is frustrating when we have to explain to our school districts that they are going to have to spend another year struggling to come up with ways to fund their schools, when Chicago Public Schools are bypassing the funding formula and receiving extra funding from the state,” Althoff said.

CPS spokesman Joel Hood said to think the problem with education funding in Illinois can be fixed by taking resources away from at-risk students in Chicago is not only short-sighted, but dangerous.

He cited a study showing Chicago student needs are 30 percent higher than the state average.

Hood said the conversation should be about equity for the whole state, not one funding source for CPS.