SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — It has fallen to local voters to decide school funding questions that Illinois lawmakers couldn’t — or wouldn’t.

“Our (state) priority is public education. We need to refocus our priorities,” state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, told Illinois Watchdog.

Illinois is supposed to pick up most of the cost for public schools, but in the current budget lawmakers cover just 28 percent of the tab. Local taxpayers, primarily through local property taxes, pay 61 percent of the cost for schools. The federal government pays for the rest.