School Funding Unconstitutional: Lawsuit

09/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Using property tax revenue to fund Illinois schools is unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Chicago Urban League.

The use of property tax violates the 2003 Illinois Civil Rights Act, the group says in the lawsuit, filed in Cook County against the state and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Illinois' current system of funding exacerbates the state's segregated housing problem, especially in Chicago, said Lisa Scruggs, a lawyer for the group. Because homes in neighborhoods with high percentages of minorities have lower values than homes in white neighborhoods, schools in minority districts get less funding.