Senator: Non-Chicago schools are falling for school funding 'nonsense'


Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who has championed SB1 and the need for a school funding overhaul, said Rauner has never directly contacted him to discuss the bill.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady released a joint statement praising the move. "I've enjoyed a great working relationship with both the House and Senate GOP caucuses and their staffs". He said the Mount Zion school district would receive an additional $230,000 on top of the $192,699 gain they'd receive under the bill as written.

That means more money for nearly every one of Illinois' 850 school districts - except CPS, which would lose more than $145 million compared to what it would get under SB1's current form, according to calculations from the governor's office. All along, Rauner has insisted that Chicago should swap its special grant money in exchange for pension help from the state. Governor Rauner has called it a bailout of Chicago Public Schools. Both Democrats and Republicans proposed a new evidence-based model, created to send more state dollars to districts with high poverty. He wants to remove the extra money for Chicago schools.

And his spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, says Article IV, Section 9 (e) of the state Constitution gives Rauner the power to "return a bill together with specific recommendations for change" to the legislature.

"There are ongoing discussions about what would be the best time to send that bill to his desk", said John Patterson, a spokesman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. The Senate margin is veto proof, but the House total is well short of the 60 percent required for an override.

On Monday, Rauner portrayed himself as undeterred by recent events, though he lamented what he described as "spin from Speaker Madigan's operation" that the governor has turned his back on poor, minority students in Chicago.

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Rauner says that's why he needs this bill sooner rather than later.

This is the right plan for the state of IL and puts our children and their education first. "I am saddened and discouraged by his display today", said Manar.

IL has its belated 2017 budget in place after two years but there is no public school funding included.

The mass exodus of key Rauner staff and their replacement with members and allies of a conservative think tank continued Monday and Tuesday, with the total number of departures from the governor's office reaching at least 20.

At issue is the way the bill factors CPS' finances into what would become the new statewide funding formula.