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Illinois legislators debate four-year math requirement for high school students

(via Flickr/Boaz Arad)

Reporting from Rachel Otwell of WUIS used in this report.

Illinois state legislators are pushing to tack on a year of math for high school students. But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

Backers say requiring four years of math instead of the current three will prepare students going into skilled labor and science and engineering fields.

But, state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, says tacking on a year of math won't necessarily be beneficial.

Luechtefeld taught high school for more than 30 years before becoming a state senator. Luechtefeld says what's more important is the skill-level students get to before they graduate. And he says there are other problems with the proposal, like funding.

"School's are broke, it's going to cost money," Luechtefeld said. "And there's just no question about that -- more teachers, especially in the area of mathematics."

But, the proposal's sponsor says the measure wouldn't require more money, just a shift in priorities.