State

Proposal could let schools opt out of some topics

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation allowing schools to opt out of teaching topics like drivers' education and black history has received backing from an Illinois Senate committee.

The amendment approved Tuesday was attached to a school funding bill, though more revisions could be on the way.

There are dozens of topics schools could decide not to teach including physical education. The idea is to save money. Some districts say they've been required to teach more topics but not funded adequately.

The main bill proposes changes to the state's school funding formula, a move designed to help poorer districts. However, that would also mean school districts, particularly in Chicago's suburbs, would lose money.

Lawmakers opposed to the amendment say it should be separated out and potentially sends a bad message.

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