IL Senate in gridlock over education funding bill

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 14, 2017

The school funding is in limbo in IL after Governor Bruce Rauner used his veto powers on the school funding plan.

"We encourage IL state representatives of both parties to listen to students, parents, teachers and school officials in their districts and vote to override Governor Rauner's veto of equitable school funding, as state senators of both parties just did". Rauner has called that money - along with a requirement that the state pay the employer portion of Chicago teacher pensions, as it does for every other district - a "bailout". The senate has until August 16th to vote to either accept the changes Rauner made or vote to override them.

On Aug. 12, the Illinois State Board of Education released an analysis of Rauner's amendatory veto showing more than 97 percent of Illinois school districts would receive more money compared with the version of SB 1 lawmakers sent to his desk. Override is less certain there.

71 members of the House (a three-fifths majority) must also vote to override - which may prove to be more hard, as just 60 voted for SB 1 the first time - or the legislation dies without a contingency plan in place.

Both parties agree that reforms are needed, and the state budget passed in July requires an "evidence-based formula" to distribute education funds.

Rather than embracing changes that would have brought greater fairness and equity to the school's funding formula, senators voting to override the governor's amendatory veto chose to continue a long history of state bailouts for CPS. It redistributed funds and Rauner is promoting that almost every district would get more money under his plan.

The Democratic-controlled legislature, which passed the funding formula bill in May without a veto-proof majority, is scheduled to meet next week.

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"There's no question that overriding Rauner's veto was the right thing to do".

He told reporters at the Capitol Sunday that his plan means "the vast majority of our neediest districts get millions (of dollars) more".

Before the Senate took up the veto override, the plan's sponsor, Sen.

A key to Manar's plan is the "hold harmless" stipulation, which ensures no less funding than a year ago. Instead, he said the plan would hurt school districts throughout the state.

Notably, all school districts would have received more funding than the previous year under the amendatory veto.

"Today, the governor still has the opportunity to show real leadership by engaging with lawmakers to reach a bipartisan compromise on this legislation", Manar said. It will be updated.

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