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Rauner urges lawmakers to let his school-funding veto stand

14 August 2017

The Illinois Senate has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a public-school funding plan. A failure by the House and Senate to muster a required three-fifths majority vote to override or accept changes Rauner made to the bill would kill the measure. The House is next scheduled to be in session on Wednesday.

He said a compromise bill was also passed by the state Senate, in case the SB 1 override fails in the House.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat, praised the override vote in her own statement.

The override needed 36 votes.

The Decatur superintendent has only been in the job for a month and said it's been an unusual and stressful way to start a school year.

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.

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"You can only worry about what you can control", he added.

SB 1 is a measure to move IL to an "evidence-based model" of education funding, which would take into account each district's individual needs, as well as its local revenue sources, when appropriating state aid - prioritizing districts that are furthest from being fully-funded. But Republican Governor Bruce Rauner used an amendatory veto to substantially rewrite the bill to remove what he called a CPS bailout.

Haine said the proposed formula in the bill is based on data and that no districts will get less money.

"The best thing for us and the state was Senate Bill 1", he said.

"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. It was unclear how much the district would receive under Rauner's revisions.

The governor's veto is an attempt to pit school districts and children against each other. "Senate Bill 1 results in no red numbers, no losses".

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State Sen. Neil Anderson (R - Andalusia) voted against the override.

"First it was a massive tax hike on the backs of every working Illinoisan, now it's a bailout of Chicago Public Schools that takes money away from our local schools".

"The State Board of Education's independent analysis released Saturday proves that a better path forward exists for 98 percent of schools in IL". Rauner says it is too generous to Chicago public schools.

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. They say the Rauner plan simply takes district from one needy district to fund another.

A key to Manar's plan is the "hold harmless" stipulation, which ensures no less funding than past year. The veto cut as much as $200 million a year for Chicago.

Democrats are criticizing Rauner's goal of switching from per-district to per-pupil funding, arguing it would have dire consequences for city schools, many of which have been hard hit by dwindling enrollments. He extolled the state education board's analysis of his changes, saying it was "great news" for children statewide. "It shows that for years the state has been sending money to Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state", Rauner said.

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SB1, which would introduce evidence-based funding to the state's schools, has been back in the Legislature since August 1, where it faces an August 16 deadline of passage or override.

Rauner urges lawmakers to let his school-funding veto stand