April 4, 2005

Board makes Illinois education spending recommendation

An education funding panel on Monday called for a 29 percent increase in the state's basic level of spending for each Illinois student, a move that would cost $2.3 billion a year.

The Education Funding Advisory Board recommended a per-pupil spending level of $6,405, up from $4,964. The board said it followed funding mechanisms worked out by predecessors on the board to determine the amount the state should spend on each student.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich earlier this year proposed only a $140 million increase for education because of a tight budget. But last week he announced that he would favor increasing gambling in the state to provide $300 million more.

His plan would boost the per-pupil ``foundation level'' -- the guaranteed minimum state spending on each student -- by $240, to $5,204, still well below the board's recommendation.
Unfortunately, this recommendation is pie-in-the-sky, though it's no doubt what is really needed.

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