Illinois high court upholds school funding system

CHICAGO – The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a decision to toss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's system of funding public school districts largely through property taxes.

The high court issued its unanimous opinion Thursday, agreeing with a lower court ruling.

Hundreds of public school districts are funded mostly through property taxes. The state sets minimum per student funding levels with specified tax rates for each district.

The 2010 lawsuit argued some residents in poorer districts whose property is worth less must pay a higher tax rate to reach funding levels of those in wealthier school districts. It called that unconstitutional and unfair.

Thursday's opinion says local communities themselves determine the tax rate. And it says any disparities that result aren't a direct result of the state's funding statute.

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