WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Increasing State Aid for Wealthy School Districts

Apr 3, 2013

Illinois gives out millions of dollars annually to well-off schools, and the state's education chief said that number could start to rise.

The districts receiving the state funds can't go to local residents for more money because of property tax caps.

State superintendent Christopher Koch said as the economy recovers and property values increase, Illinois could be on the hook for sending even more money to wealthy districts.

“The key is, how do we solve it? How do you put a better system in, one that's less reliant on property values?” Koch asked.

Koch said it's wrong for Illinois to be sending money to schools in wealthy areas when lawmakers are expected to cut general state aid to schools, which will impact poorer districts the most.

Koch said it's up to legislators to decide whether to change the funding formulas.