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EDlection2018: Pritzker Wins Illinois Governor’s Race, Will Face Chronic School Funding Inequities

By David Cantor | November 6, 2018

J.B. Pritzker. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

Democratic businessman and lawyer J.B. Pritzker outlasted Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner on Tuesday night to become the 43rd governor of Illinois. Fox called the race first, followed by NBC, with Pritzker holding a 4-point lead.

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The billionaire scion of one of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families spent more than $175 million — much of it his own money — in a bruising fight that saw Rauner, a wealthy financier in his own right, unable to make up ground after attacks from social conservatives in the GOP primary wounded his standing among Republicans.

Pritzker must now address Illinois’s historically inequitable school funding system. Legislators enacted an “evidence-based” model last year that sends more money to poor districts, but its effect remains unclear. Pritzker has said he hopes to augment school funds with revenues from legalized gambling and marijuana.

Endorsed by the state teachers union, his campaign pledged investments in early learning and vowed to end a tax-credit scholarship program championed by Rauner.

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

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