The (Champaign) News-Gazette

What's fair for one, the Chicago school district, should be fair for all — the rest of the school districts in Illinois' 102 counties.

There's a lot to dislike in the new K-12 education financial formula law that passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support and was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

That's why the groundbreaking legislation that adopts an evidence-based model to ensure lower-income schools get increased state aid — was described as compromise legislation. Getting something required giving something.

The most bitter comments have come from critics of the private school scholarship tax credit, the provision that allow donors to underwrite scholarships that will be used to help low-income children attend private schools. The teachers' unions have been nothing less than vitriolic in their condemnation of the program that lets poor children escape failing public schools and get a better education in private schools.

If schools could save money by modifying or limiting the unfunded mandates the new education bill left out of reach, they'd have more money to focus on education, including physical education. That's another good reason why non-Chicago school districts should operate under the same mandate-relief umbrella Chicago schools do.

Sauk Valley Media

A day late and a dollar short is no way to run state government. But again and again, including the school funding overhaul, that's how Illinois politicians choose to operate.

When all is said and done regarding passage of Illinois' school funding overhaul, what is there left to say?

Perhaps we should cheer lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner for finally accomplishing what they should have completed by May 31. They're only three months late doing their jobs!

As vital state money is poised to again flow to local schools, the politics of it all leaves us frustrated. And we're not the only ones.

This manufactured, man-made crisis didn't have to happen, and shouldn't have happened.

Chicago Sun-Times

The Great Lakes have a new resident, brachionus leydigii, but nobody's rolling out the welcome mat.

Although the species of microscopic zooplankton may prove to be harmless, it's yet another non-native species invading and possibly threatening our waters.

Nor should we be pleased that an invasive Asian carp recently was caught in the Little Calumet River just nine miles away from Lake Michigan, evidently bypassing barriers engineers have built to keep the fish out. Should Asian carp actually make their way into Lake Michigan, they could further upset, and potentially topple, the native ecosystem.

Once Asian carp or other invasive species make their way into the Great Lakes, there's no getting them out. And that could lead to a potentially devastating series of events, with aquatic food chains breaking, the fishing industry paying the price and our crown jewel lake — a haven for tourists and recreational fishermen alike — thrown into disarray.


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