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Illinois’ public school districts are roughly $20 billion in debt, a staggering figure fueled in part by decades of special deals in Springfield that have given districts exemptions so they can keep borrowing beyond limits set by law.

Today, that debt exceeds long-term school borrowing in most other states. It equates to about $10,000 for every Pre-K to 12th-grade public school student in Illinois, a Tribune investigation has found.

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$20B borrowed is 1/2 of the allowable $40B.
A pension cost shift or changing the General State Aid formula of how state money is allocated to local school districts would likely result in more non referendum working cash bond issues, bond referendums, and tax rate referendums.
The cost to educate a child figures don’t include the state pension payment in Illinois.