Rauner promises amendatory veto for school funding bill

With a school year set to begin in a few weeks, superintendents from around the state strongly support it. Lake County school superintendents hope a new state funding formula will promise more equity among all school districts, regardless of their zip code.

It is now being held on a procedural motion, as lawmakers seek more time to negotiate after Rauner vowed to veto the measure, decrying it as a “bailout” for CPS. It would ensure that none of the state’s 850 school districts receives less than aid that the previous year, and would provide money to districts based on local property wealth and distinct student-population needs.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says that could effectively kill the legislation, putting hundreds of districts at risk of shuttering schools.

Meanwhile, CPS contended Rauner’s intended action on the bill would exceed the veto power afforded governors under the Illinois Constitution.

On Monday, Rauner called on Senate President John Cullerton to send the legislation to his desk so he can issue an amendatory veto to remove certain funding considerations for cash-strapped CPS.

“Schools have to open, that’s our primary responsibility in the IL constitution and it’s just common sense”, Mitchell said.

“If we wait any longer for Governor Rauner to do the right thing, principals will not be able to organize their schools, and we will use SB1’s funding parameters to plan, since there are no other options on the table”, Bittner said in a statement.

Chicago’s students deserve adequately funded front-line classroom services and a school system that respects and engages engages families and neighborhood residents, built on best practices and a commitment to adequately fund a high-quality education for our youth.

Changes to school funding has been a topic of debate for decades in Springfield, as IL has the nation’s widest gap between low- and high-income school districts, according to the non-profit organization The Education Trust. It has earned IL the dubious distinction of being the most inequitable in the nation. It also allocates about $300 million more to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for state aid and pensions.

The school finding plan, known as Senate Bill 1, is a historic measure. If funds do not come in before that time, he said the district would be out of cash to pay its teachers and staff.