Illinois school reform a taxing situation


MOLINE, Illinois — Ask Moline superintendent Dr. Cal Lee about school funding, and he puts it clearly.

“Property tax is an unfair method for funding education,” he said.

That’s one reason why Iowa uses a variety of sources.

Bettendorf’s sparkling new Neil Armstrong Elementary School opens for classes on Thursday. But it’s already getting rave reviews from parents and students.

And thanks to a local option sales tax, the funding measure made the $8.8 million project go from concept to reality.

“Every county in Iowa has passed the local option sales tax,” said Marty Lucas, Bettendorf superintendent. “I think there is just a lot of support for schools in Iowa.”

But in Illinois, where reform remains on the back burner, schools are funded through property taxes.

John David, WQAD


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