The Illinois State Board of Education made a request Wednesday to the state legislature for a $730 million, or a 10.7 percent, increase in school funding.
The call for increased school funding came after James Meeks, a former Democratic state senator, officially took over as the education board's new chairman. The board's proposed funding increase is based on feedback from 11 months of budget hearings, State superintendent Christopher Koch told the Associated Press.
Funding for schools would still be 5 percent less than where it stood in 2009, even if the $730 million spending increase is approved, board representatives said.
State lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner have a multi-billion budget deficit they will have to tackle for the next fiscal year. Rauner is expected to provide more specifics on his plan for the state's fiscal issues during his budget address next month. During the gubernatorial campaign, Rauner called for increased funding for early childhood education through college as part of his education plan.