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It's Over: Rauner Signs School Funding Bill

Charlie Schlenker
Gov. Bruce Rauner

A wide-reaching overhaul of the way Illinois funds schools has been signed into law.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure Thursday at a Chicago school. He says it's a historic day that will bring "more equality, more fairness and better opportunity" to students across Illinois.

The Legislature approved the measure this week, after years of trying to fix what's considered the nation's most inequitable school funding system. It allows state aid to be sent to more than 800 schools for the first time this academic year. The plan will begin to eliminate large disparities between wealthy and rich districts.

It also creates a new $75 million tax credit for people and companies that donated to private school scholarships and gives districts more flexibility on state mandates.

"This is truly a historic moment for Illinois, for our schools and most importantly for our children," state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said in a statement. "This represents a historic shift toward a new education funding system where the quality of a child’s education will no longer be dependent on where they live. Today is an opportunity to show how we can come together in a divided government to accomplish great things and to find a way to build on that success."

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