IL governor to block Chicago schools' funding boost

Pauline Gross
July 18, 2017

Meanwhile, the $36 billion fiscal 2018 budget the Illinois General Assembly enacted last week over Rauner's veto prohibits the flow of state money to schools in the absence of an evidence-based funding model, raising concerns over whether the state will make a looming August payment to the school districts. Rauner warned that if the bill doesn't get to his desk soon, schools may not open as scheduled in the fall.

Rauner said he intends to use his veto to amend parts of the bill that address CPS pensions.

"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 plans to remove what he calls a bailout of Chicago's broken teacher pension system from the bill and instead provide adequate and equitable funding for students in IL no mater the zip code.

The legislation passed both the Illinois House and Senate, but without veto-proof majorities.

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The funding overhaul approved by the legislature tries to narrow the gap between wealthy and poor districts.

Rauner says he is opposed to SB 1 because it favors Chicago at the expense of other districts. That means each district would get money depending on the needs of students.

However, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who is traveling through Europe to boost Chicago's technology businesses - said the bill would benefit all schools in IL and "finally begin to close the state's worst-in-the-nation funding gap between wealthy districts and poor ones".

He says the amendatory veto also will adjust the bill so that it is more closely aligned with the to the original ideals proposed by the governor's School Funding Reform Commission - which has bipartisan support.

"School districts with relatively low property tax wealth or high poverty face the greatest risk from a disruption in state funding due to their material dependence on state aid", Moody's said in a report.

Other reports by GizPress

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