Debate continues over IL school funding formula bill

Rauner speaks to media after meeting Obama and other Governor-elects at the White House

Governor Rauner to Talk Education Funding in Rockford Monday

The $36 billion fiscal 2018 state budget the legislature enacted earlier this month over Rauner's veto prohibits the flow of state money to schools in the absence of an evidence-based funding model.

Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged Monday to change the language of a funding bill crucial to schools across IL as they ready to open in the fall, the latest development in an ongoing battle about how to pay for the state's public education.

IL already covers pension costs for districts other than CPS.

But in a statement Monday, CPS claims Rauner doesn't have the authority to carry out that amendatory veto under the state Constitution. "They want to threaten to hold up school funding so schools don't open this fall", Rauner said, "to try to force a pension bailout for the City of Chicago on the backs of IL taxpayers".

State Rep. Sue Scherer, a Decatur Democrat who was mentioned several times by Rauner as someone who should support his amendatory veto, said in a statement she was glad to see the governor participate in the discussion on school funding reform.

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No school district would receive less funding, but poor districts would receive substantially more. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. In a written response to the governor's plan for an amendatory veto, CPS calls it illegal and a stunt.

"Schools have to open, that's our primary responsibility in the IL constitution and it's just common sense", Mitchell said. However, Rauner said SB1 is nothing more than a pension bailout for CPS.

"The legislature should send SB1 to the Governor's desk immediately rather than playing games with the education of IL students", she said in an email to Chicago Tonight.

If Senate Bill 1 or some other funding formula bill doesn't become law, school leaders will again have to make up for some $300 million.

The legislation passed both the Illinois House and Senate, but without veto-proof majorities. The Governor Monday also criticized Democrats in the Illinois Senate for using a procedural quirk to keep the bill from advancing to his desk. Neighborhood public schools in black and brown communities that suffer from chronic disinvestment and high unemployment are anchors for civic engagement and the long-term vitality of these communities, but CPS has instead chosen to cut funding for classrooms, slash special education, shutter local schools and accrue growing debt at juice loan interest rates that place an even greater economic burden on struggling families and communities.

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