ISBE approves $97 million to neediest schools

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education has approved a plan to feed $97 million into Illinois schools with the greatest funding needs.

Lawmakers heard testimony on the proposal and approved the plan during a Senate appropriations committee hearing Wednesday.

The plan restores 95 percent of funding to about 30 school districts whose state funds were cut in a March budget deal.

The bipartisan agreement to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole came with more than $1.3 billion in fund transfers and a 2.25 percent across-the-board cut to state funding. It also gave Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner authority over $97 million to redistribute to needy schools.

Rauner has pledged to increase funding for schools, but signed the deal that included cuts in state aid for education.