Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto on School Funding

Pauline Gross
August 14, 2017

The Illinois Senate voted Sunday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of an education funding plan, as schools and parents across the state grapple with uncertainty surrounding the latest showdown in Springfield. It provides millions of additional dollars for Metro East schools, and for the first time in almost two decades gives them much-needed stability from year to year.

Illinois' recently based budget requires an evidence based funding formula to be passed, before money can be sent to school districts.

Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill who sponsored the plan, said Rauner would rob Peter to pay Paul.

Earlier on Sunday, the governor called on lawmakers to uphold his veto saying in part, "The numbers show my plan is better for the state, making education funding fair and equitable for the first time in IL". "Senate Bill 1 is the best possible solution to fixing the formula and I believe it should be the law of IL".

As a result of the impasse, the state missed its August 10 deadline to make payments to K-12 schools for the first time in history on Thursday, according to Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Rauner says it is too generous to Chicago public schools. None has indicated it won't open, but most say they can't hold class all year without state money. It moves to the House where it also needs a three-fifths majority. Override is less certain there. The veto stripped Chicago schools of hundreds of millions of dollar. 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".

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"No real action. Our kids deserve better", said Governor Bruce Rauner. He extolled the state education board's analysis of his changes, saying it was "great news" for children statewide. But like the state's budget, our education funding system will continue to be a problem until we address the underlying rot: "a broken tax system that benefits the millionaires, while punishing the middle class".

The $5.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1 includes $300 million the state of IL would send the district under education funding legislation.

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

The amendatory veto must still be overturned by the House of Representatives before the measure can become law and funds can be released to schools.

Other reports by GizPress

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