Yingling, Drobinski have different school funding ideas
Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling and his Republican opponent have different ideas on how to change education funding in Illinois.
Yingling and Rod Drobinski are on the Nov. 8 ballot for the 62nd House District, which includes all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, the Round Lake communities, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wauconda, Wildwood and Gages Lake. Two years ago, Yingling topped Drobinski, 13,527 votes to 12,568, to win his second term representing the district.
Both candidates have addressed issues in Daily Herald questionnaires and in a joint editorial board endorsement interview. One topic was potentially changing education funding from the current model that's heavily reliant on local property taxes to a formula that provides more from the state.
Yingling said it could be worth looking at other states for long-term school funding ideas. He said there cannot be winners and losers if there is a change in how education is funded.
"This is an idea that would need to be flushed out -- I want to be very clear on that -- but there are other states that have a property tax on everything, and all that money generated from that property tax goes into a general fund and is divided proportionally per pupil," he said.
Drobinski said the system should not be changed by taking from wealthier school districts and giving to others with low revenue bases. He also said funds should not be diverted from districts that have responsibly managed budgets to those that have not.
If elected, Drobinski said, he would press for a state funding mechanism requiring school districts to reduce administrative and bureaucratic costs. He said the state might need to shift priorities and possibly cut other programs to direct more money toward schools.
"I think what we need for our schools is reform," Drobinski said. "I don't think we need to just talk about new property taxes or new things like that. I think what we need to talk about is structurally changing our schools so that more of the money we actually give to our schools actually makes it to the kid in the classroom."
Drobinski, a Wauconda resident, is a former Fremont Public Library board member who works as a Lake County assistant state's attorney. Yingling, of unincorporated Lake County near Grayslake, won his first election to the General Assembly in 2012 and served as Avon Township's supervisor from 2009 to 2013.