Rauner promises amendatory veto for school funding bill


The battle over school funding in IL heated up Monday, as Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to issue an amendatory veto of a major reform bill - a move that Chicago Public Schools quickly claimed he can not legally do.

State Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, sponsored the bill.

"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.

On Monday, Harris stood with superintendents from poorer school districts urging Gov. Rauner to sign SB 1, a bill that changes the funding formula to an evidence-based system which means lower-income districts, who don't have a strong property base, will no longer be short changed.

"The point of this school reform bill is to help low-income students across the state, including those in Chicago, get the education they deserve - not to bailout CPS' mismanaged teacher pension system", Rauner said in a statement. "They want to threaten to hold up school funding so schools don't open this fall", Rauner said, "to try to force a pension bailout for the City of Chicago on the backs of IL taxpayers".

Instead, Rauner held a press conference today to "demand, not request, but demand" the bill be sent to his desk immediately so that he can change it as he sees fit.

Rauner says that he plans to veto that newly devised school funding method and that could jeopardize the start of school.

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Emanuel has said Chicago schools will open September 5 as scheduled - regardless of what Rauner does.

The proposed funding formula is an evidence-based model.

Referring to the long-time speaker of the IL house as "ruthless" "cold blooded" and even "a tyrant", Rauner said Madigan was to blame for school officials across the state concerned whether the state would come through on its funding promise.

With little more than a month until many school districts open their doors, Springfield still hasn't finalized a school funding plan.

"I can not stress how important it is to address this issue now to ensure that our state's elementary, middle, and high schools open without interruption, with the resources they need", she said.

"We would hope that a new plan could get passed in the near future so we could stay open and provide services to students", he said.