Group in Harrisburg discusses 'unfair school funding' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Group in Harrisburg discusses 'unfair school funding'

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS) (Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS)
(Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS) (Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS)
(Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS) (Source: Loreto Cruz/KFVS)

Nearly 150 people gathered in Harrisburg on Monday, April 11 to hear from several local lawmakers about what some say is an "unfairly funded" public school system in Illinois.

Illinois lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were in attendance, including Rep. Terri Bryant, Senator Gary Forby, Senator Andy Manar and a representative from both John Bradley's and Brandon Phelps' offices.

The bill being discussed was Senate Bill 231, which Manar introduced to the Illinois Senate last week.

Senate Bill 231 would  essentially restructure how money is sent to Illinois school districts, gradually moving funding from areas of high wealth to areas of low wealth in a fashion supporters claim would "equalize opportunities for students across the state."

A couple of speakers said the room where they met was a fitting place for such a meeting.

The electric wiring in Harrisburg High School's library hangs loosely from the ceiling and some areas of plaster are missing.

"We need something to be done now," Harrisburg Schools Superintendent Mike Gauch said. "It may not be the best plan out there, but it's the only viable one we've seen... We have cheated many years' worth of students coming through at this point, and we need some action."

The meeting attracted a number of students in the district, including Harrisburg sophomore and FFA officer Delaney Adams 

"I'm just thrilled that there are so many people within the state that care so much about our school and our area," Adams said.

Gauch said more than a dozen school district superintendents from the region were there to discuss details about the bill.

Event organizers say the bill still needs more support to make it through the House and Senate. Gov. Rauner's stance on the bill is unclear.

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