Rauner Threatens To Cut Part Of School-Funding Bill

Buehrer 182nd Airlift Wing via Wikimedia

Buehrer 182nd Airlift Wing via Wikimedia

Governor Bruce Rauner plans an amendatory veto to a bill that provides a new funding formula for distribution of school aid.

"Governor Rauner's stunt won't pass legal muster, and instead jeopardizes the opening for dozens of school districts around the state", CPS spokewoman Emily Bittner said in a statement, adding that an amendatory veto would change "a fundamental objective of the legislation" - a power not granted by the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the $36 billion fiscal 2018 budget the Illinois General Assembly enacted last week over Rauner's veto prohibits the flow of state money to schools in the absence of an evidence-based funding model, raising concerns over whether the state will make a looming August payment to the school districts.

Rauner staged his press conference in Mt. Zion - a downstate village flawless for his message that the Democrats' school funding plan gives too much money to Chicago.

Rauner, along with state Reps Brad Halbrook and Bill Mitchell and state senators Jason Barickman and Chapin Rose, took turns to discuss their approval of the amendatory veto and why money should be directed to local school districts over Chicago.

Manar, the bill's sponsor, says Rauner should be working with lawmakers on an agreement rather than holding campaign-style events for TV cameras.

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He says the amendatory veto also will adjust the bill so that it is more closely aligned with the to the original ideals proposed by the governor's School Funding Reform Commission - which has bipartisan support. "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". "Think about that", Rauner said.

Others said they'd have to cut back. The new formula incorporates 27 different variables that weigh a school's poverty level, property values and transportation costs just to name a few.

Principals of Chicago's schools will get their first look at the budgets for their schools on Thursday, and for the third year in a row, those spending plans will rely on hundreds of millions of dollars that Rauner has vowed to veto.

An Illinois Association of School Boards official has said that about a dozen districts may not be able to start classes next month if state funding is delayed.

Springfield usually starts sending out school aid checks by August 10, but that won't happen unless the two sides can quickly find common ground.

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