A group of black legislators and community leaders gathered Sunday on the West Side to urge passage of state legislation that would provide more money to struggling schools in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford urged Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a school funding bill that would distribute $350 million annually not just to schools in Chicago but across the state.

“It makes sure that the funding for education is not based on a person’s ZIP code or property taxes,” Ford said, speaking at a news conference held at the Academy for Scholastic Achievement, a nonprofit school at 4651 W. Madison that focuses on educating at-risk youth.

“If we do that, we will not have a pipeline to prison for black children, but we will meet their needs and they will have more opportunities to grow and compete in such a highly skilled society,” Ford said.

Rauner has threatened to make changes to the school-funding bill and send it back to the Legislature, calling the money it contains for city teacher pensions a “CPS bailout.”

A spokeswoman for Rauner on Sunday re-issued a statement from the governor that he’s unable to act until the bill gets to his desk.

“Until then, I am unable to change the legislation so that it’s fair and equitable for all schoolchildren in Illinois and the taxpayers who foot the bill,” Rauner said.

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Source: Chicago Sun Times

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