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State

Schools worry about covering teacher pension costs

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Public school administrators say some local districts would have to raise property taxes if they're forced to cover the cost of teacher pensions.

The school officials testified Thursday at a special hearing called by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The Chicago Democrat says suburban and downstate districts get a "free lunch" because the state pays their teacher pension costs. He says Illinois is in grave financial trouble and the districts must be part of the solution.

The administrators say potential tax increases would depend on how much money districts have and how much of the burden the state shifts to districts.

Public university representatives also testified Thursday. They say the change could result in a 2 percent tuition increase.

Madigan has vowed to address the issue before the General Assembly adjourns.

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