SPRINGFIELD — A school funding reform bill intended to direct more money to the state’s neediest school districts narrowly won approval in the Illinois Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 31-21, with three members voting “present,” to send the bill to the House, where it faces an uncertain future. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has formed a House task force to conduct its own review of school funding this year. Madigan also did not formally assign House members to a special task force two years ago whose work ultimately led to the bill that was approved Tuesday.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, sponsor of the funding reform bill, said he will press House members to support his plan. Asked if he thought the House would approve it, Manar said, “We’ll find out.”

Senate Bill 231 was the culmination of more than two years of work by Manar, who said the current state school aid formula is badly flawed. He said that even when more money is put into education funding, the 20-year-old formula can result in some of the neediest school districts losing state aid, while some of the wealthiest get more money.

“Our system today is broken,” Manar said. “It is rotten. It deserves wholesale change.”

Most Republicans voted against the bill, contending it is little more than a bailout for the financially failing Chicago school system. Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, contended the bill will give Chicago $700 million more for its schools. He said he’s willing to help the Chicago school system up to a point.

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