Aside from the defeat of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the most exciting election result here was approval – by a wide margin – of a one-cent countywide sales tax increase for school buildings. The tax is expected to generate $10 million annually for Springfield’s District 186 public schools. That will allow implementation of the Springfield district’s carefully drawn building plan, worked out in public meetings over the past two years, calling for two new elementary schools, major improvements to Lanphier and Springfield High, new classrooms at middle schools, as well as security and air-conditioning upgrades. The physical improvements will be matched by the boost in self-esteem for inner-city public schools, which claim to be the best hope to counter problems of poverty and race. This time the voters are on their side. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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