Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Rauner Demands School Funding Bill Now

Governor Rauner to Talk Education Funding in Rockford Monday Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Melinda Barton | 18 July, 2017, 01:57

Governor Bruce Rauner plans an amendatory veto to a bill that provides a new funding formula for distribution of school aid. That would result in a cut of almost half of a $293 million funding boost for state aid and pensions CPS would receive in the legislation, freeing up $145 million for other school districts, according to funding data posted on Rauner's website.

"It's good for Lake County, it's good for every school district in the state of IL, and the new formula will direct these new resources to students across IL who need them the most and need that assistance first and foremost", says Brian Harris, superintendent for Barrington School District 220.

Rauner staged his press conference in Mt. Zion - a downstate village ideal for his message that the Democrats' school funding plan gives too much money to Chicago.

Manar, the bill's sponsor, says Rauner should be working with lawmakers on an agreement rather than holding campaign-style events for TV cameras.

"When I amendatory-veto that bill it will become balanced, it will be equitable and fair to all the school districts around the state", the governor said.

"We're here to demand that Speaker (Michael) Madigan and Senate President (John) Cullerton to send us the school funding bill now", Rauner said. "Think about that", Rauner said.

Many schools throughout the state have raised concerns saying if a funding bill isn't passed, they won't be able to open their doors in the fall.

In short, the legislature will have to wait to see how Rauner changes the bill before choosing to accept his veto, override it - both of which would take a 3/5 majority in the House and Senate - or ruling that it exceeds his authority, in which case the legislation would die and lawmakers would have to start from square one.

Local School Councils will have about a week to approve spending plans for their schools, officials said.

"I can not stress how important it is to address this issue now to ensure that our state's elementary, middle, and high schools open without interruption, with the resources they need", she said. It has earned IL the dubious distinction of being the most inequitable in the nation. The new formula incorporates 27 different variables that weigh a school's poverty level, property values and transportation costs just to name a few. It also allocates about $300 million more to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for state aid and pensions. If funds do not come in before that time, he said the district would be out of cash to pay its teachers and staff.

The two-hour tour, which leaves from CTU headquarters, 1901 W. Carroll Avenue in Chicago, at 10 AM on Thursday, July 20, will help to illustrate the consequences of unconscionable cuts to neighborhood schools while classroom dollars are diverted for massive TIF subsidies to wealthy developers.