Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto of School Funding Plan

Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto of School Funding Plan

Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto of School Funding Plan

Gov. Bruce Rauner implored lawmakers on Sunday to embrace his changes to a public-school funding plan and recognize "true fairness and equity".

"The time has come to reform school funding in the state of Illinois", Senator Andy Manar, a Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said on the Senate floor on Sunday. "I strongly urge my colleagues in the Illinois House to override the governor's veto, to provide stability for our schools and allow them to keep their doors open this school year".

However, Rauner maintained that CPS' net difference between the two plans is only $241 million when taking into account the state pick-up of the district's $221 million pension payment, though funding to do so has not been appropriated.

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"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". The House will be in session Wednesday. Override prospects are less certain there. The senate has until August 16th to vote to either accept the changes Rauner made or vote to override them.

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.

Democrats argued that Chicago educates largely low-income students.

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A fiscal 2018 budget unveiled on Friday by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) depends on almost $570 million in new money from the state and city that may not materialize or has not been identified. "Let the kids go to school and the legislators take the fight back to the state capitol, but what they shouldn't do is use the kids as pawns if they can't figure out between themselves how to fund education".

The governor's veto is an attempt to pit school districts and children against each other. "It shows that for years the state has been sending money to Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state", Rauner said.

An annual $200 million "block grant" exclusively for CPS, which was carved out years ago. It's created to determine funding levels for specific districts based in part on the number of students living in poverty, lacking English-language skills and other data-driven measurements. Until a funding bill is enacted, general state aid to all schools can't be released.

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