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Schools get funding now that impasse is over, say it's not enough

The budget that just passed has $350 million dollars allocated an evidence-based education funding formula. The catch? The formula hasn't been enacted yet. (Photo by Rachel Droze)

After an over two-year budget impasse, schools in Illinois finally have some relief.

The budget that passed Thursday allocates $8.2 billion to school funding.

Elizabeth Ziegenhorn has a seven-year-old son Nicholas, who is going into the second grade at Riverton Elementary School.

Ziegenhorn said while she was happy about the state getting a budget, she's still concerned.

"We're still not out of the woods," Ziegenhorn said. "This state has gone down a lot."

Riverton Schools Superintendent Dr. Lance Thurman said he was optimistic when he first heard the news about the budget passing, but after further thought, he realized there's still a lot to worry about.

"The reality of really the past decade legislatively is, okay how does this all start to shake out as all the different items like Senate Bill 1 and all these other factors come into play," Thurman said. "What does that really mean for Riverton."

Senate Bill 1 would create an evidence-based education funding formula to create equity across all districts in Illinois.

The budget that just passed has $350 million allocated to this new formula. The catch? The formula hasn't been enacted yet.

In order for schools to get this funding, the governor would need to sign a new education funding formula into law that would create an evidence-based funding model.

Senate Bill 1 has passed out of both chambers, but the governor won't support it. He said it's a bailout for Chicago Public Schools' Pension system.

Instead, the governor would like to see one of the two Republican versions of the evidence-based funding model make it through.

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