Lawmaker: Chicago schools get too much state money

October 9, 2013

The Associated Press

WBEZ/Bill Healy
File: Chicago Public Schools.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois lawmaker wants to change the way Chicago Public Schools gets state grant money for transportation, special education, and nutrition.

State Rep. Sandy Pihos filed a bill to change the law governing grants after a report showed CPS got $235 million more last school year than if allocations were calculated as they are for other school districts.

A 1996 law made CPS the only Illinois district that automatically can claim a certain percentage of state education dollars to spend at its own discretion.

All other districts submit expense claims and get paid based on how many students use the programs.

But Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett says the district is following the state law, and says Pihos' proposal deflects from the real solution — pension reform.