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Forby: Southern Illinois schools deserve fair share

forby bailoutBENTON - Southern Illinois schools would be big winners under a clean school funding plan being finalized that Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) said he will support at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Local schools would see their state support increase by nearly $10 million over what they received this past year. In fact, Forby said no school would lose funding if the plan manages to become law, which would require approval in the Senate, Illinois House and the governor’s signature.

“No more games. People need to put politics aside to ensure our schools open on time,” Forby said. “This plan fully funds our schools. Springfield will stop shortchanging us and cheating our schools, our students, our teachers and our taxpayers out of the money they were promised.”

As proposed, for the first time in years the state would fully fund its commitment to local schools, and put an end to several years’ worth of the state knowingly cutting back payments to them. This practice was especially unfair to Southern Illinois schools while wealthy suburban Chicago districts were able to cope more easily with the cuts.

Examples of local school gains under the proposal:

Herrin School District would see a $914,000 increase, raising its state support to more than $11.7 million. That’s an 8 percent increase over previous state support.

Marion School District would see a nearly $882,000 increase, which would take its total state aid to more than $9.5 million. That’s a 10 percent increase over what the state provided last year.

Massac School District would get a nearly $576,000 increase to more than $9.1 million in state aid. That’s a 7 percent increase in state support.

Cairo School District would get an additional $522,000. Total state support for Cairo schools would be more than $3.6 million, a 17 percent increase.

Harrisburg School District would see its state support increase by more than $623,000 to almost $9.8 million. That’s a 7 percent increase.

Forby said the deal is too good for Southern Illinois to pass up.

“Every school in the region will see an increase in funding. That’s a plan I can support,” Forby said. “We all know Southern Illinois schools have been shortchanged for years. That ends now. It’s time we got our fair share.”

The Senate plans to take up the proposal on Wednesday.

Senator Gary Forby

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59th Senate District

Years served:
2001-2003 (House); 2003 - 2017 (Senate)

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Labor (Chairperson); Insurance; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Committee of the Whole. (99th G.A.)

Biography: Born January 4, 1945, in Anna, Illinois. Full-time state legislator; former farmer and businessman; past chairman, Franklin County Board; former member, Franklin - Williamson Human Services Board; current member, Southern Illinois Workforce Man-Tra-Con Board, Operating Engineers and Laborers' International unions.