Illinois Senate rejects Rauner veto of school-funding plan

Frederick Owens
August 14, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed it and argued it would benefit Chicago schools too much.

Without an evidence-based model in place, no state funding can be disbursed to K-12 schools across IL at all, due to a provision in the budget passed in July that makes aid contingent on an overhaul of the education funding formula, which now ranks among the least equitable in the country. Sam McCann of Jacksonville, also voted "yes" on the override.

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.

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. The override required a three-fifths majority, or 36 votes, to pass. Democrats hold 37 seats in the Illinois Senate, and all voted in favor of the override. Override is less certain there.

"The governor's veto could have cost our local schools millions of dollars in state aid and destroyed years of progress". It redistributed funds and Rauner is promoting that almost every district would get more money under his plan. "If state lawmakers can't agree on a solution immediately, they should enact the existing funding formula - as flawed as it may be - to ensure all schools can open on time, and resume negotiations on education funding reform separately". They say the Rauner plan simply takes district from one needy district to fund another.

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

Ahead of the vote, state Sen.

Without a new funding formula in place, IL for the first time missed an initial state aid payment to its 852 school districts on Thursday. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would have seen an $8.7 million windfall under Rauner's changes. Claypool said the district has no immediate plans for selling bonds for capital needs.

"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.

Rauner made significant changes to the legislation because he says it sends hundreds of millions of dollars to Chicago at the expense of other districts. It will be updated.

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