Illinois school districts increasingly rely on tax funding

Students return to Galesburg High School 8-29-14 (WQAD Photo by John David)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois school districts are increasingly relying on local taxpayers to invest in public schools.

Illinois finance data show local taxes and school fees now make up 67.4 percent of revenue for districts statewide, the highest percentage in at least 15 years.

The Chicago Tribune  reports the state contributes 24.9 percent, one of the lowest shares in the country. The federal government contributes 7.7 percent.

The local portion for education has slowly climbed since 2001, when local dollars averaged nearly 62 percent of K-12 public school expenses in the state.

Nearly every cent flowing into affluent Butler School District 53 in Oak Brook comes from local dollars, about $10.1 million. Most of the funding is from property taxes paid by businesses and homeowners that cover everything from school building projects to teacher salaries.