A Republican state senator from Bloomington Wednesday became the third legislator to introduce a competing education funding plan.
This legislation will mark the second time Sen. Jason Barickman has introduced a school funding plan based on the so-called "evidence-based model." His first effort, in 2015, never got so much as a committee hearing. But over the past two years, that basic idea has caught on, and is now contained in legislation sponsored by Will Davis, a Democratic representative in the Illinois House. The details of Barickman's new proposal weren't immediately available, because he hasn't actually filed the legislation. But he is talking with Davis in hopes of achieving a bipartisan, bicameral agreement. "Representative Davis has his ideas; I've got mine. I think the important thing here is we're all communicating."
He also acknowledged that any plan would need the approval of Governor Bruce Rauner and his top aides - something he's still working on.
"They haven't seen it yet. But we're going to put it out there and receive feedback from all sorts of groups and people who are important to the legislative process."
Left out of that loop was Democratic Senator Andy Manar, who had worked with Barickman on school funding, and has filed a Senate bill duplicating the Davis plan. Does that signal an end to the Manar-Barickman team? Barickman's spokesperson said no, he's happy to work with anyone.