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posted: 5/17/2013 5:01 PM

Senate Democrats want more school money, not cuts

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  • Sen. Dan Kotowski

    Sen. Dan Kotowski

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate Democrats are proposing a $156 million boost in primary and secondary education next year. Key budget negotiators say the money would help schools keep pace with funding levels this year.

Sens. Heather Steans and Dan Kotowski told The Associated Press the money for K-12 schools would be $306 million more than Gov. Pat Quinn proposed in his plan for the budget beginning July 1. Quinn proposed a cut.

Steans, of Chicago, and Kotowski, of Park Ridge, said it would keep funding at the same per-student level as this year -- although not as much as state law says should be the minimum.

Democrats also want to use unexpected revenue to pay $400 million in overdue social-service bills.

Kotowski says that will relieve the need for some cuts in the coming budget.

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