Illinois school officials seek double state education aid

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois education administrators are seeking to double the amount of money public schools get in the coming year.

The State Board of Education has approved a request for $7.5 billion in additional state aid — a 91 percent increase.

Board members argued that the $15.7 billion in general state aid they’re requesting is necessary to adequately finance public education.

Democratic-led legislation signed last summer by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner overhauled the funding formula. It focuses on the neediest school districts and takes into account local resources available to each.

But the state remains in a poor fiscal position. An income tax increase last summer is providing $5 billion more a year. But other services were cut back during a two-year budget stalemate and there’s still a $9 billion bill backlog.