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Illinois schools serving more poor, homeless students

Updated: March 20, 2013 1:05PM

SPRINGFIELD — The percent of Illinois students who are homeless or living in poverty has grown in recent years.

The Illinois State Board of Education reported Wednesday the proportion of low-income students grew from 37.9 percent to 49 percent between 2003 and 2012.

The ISBE says the spike in low-income students and those with limited English has led to increased costs for school districts. But state funding for education has decreased by more than $861 million, or nearly 12 percent, since the budget year that started in July 2008.

The information comes as Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing another $400 million in cuts for elementary, secondary and higher education next year. Quinn says the proposed cut is painful but necessary because lawmakers haven’t fixed the state’s multibillion-dollar pension problem.

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