As school funding deadlines loom and Springfield readies itself for another fiscal battle, the bills at the center of the fray are Democratic-authored Senate Bill 1, and its Republican-backed alternatives: Senate Bill 1124 and House Bill 4069.

SB1, “The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act”, includes authorization for a new funding model to account for $565 million in primary and secondary education spending–part of the $7.67 billion found in the recently-passed budget–and creates a new school funding formula, that eliminates the annual Chicago block grant and provides Chicago more money to pay down its towering teacher pension debt. The combination of education funding in SB1 and SB6, the FY2018 appropriations bill, represent a $730 million increase compared to FY2017.

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