IL governor to block Chicago schools' funding boost

IL governor to block Chicago schools' funding boost

The governor says he will not sign into law a new school funding formula bill unless money is moved from Chicago Public Schools to other districts.

Despite finally having a state budget, IL schools still don't know what to expect financially from the state as they continue to wait on a new funding formula bill.

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.

In fiscal 2016, some 119 school districts relied on state money for 50 percent to as much as 71.5 percent of their budgets, according to Illinois State Board of Education data.

On Thursday, July 20th, the same day that Chicago public school principals expect to receive their budgets for the upcoming school year, the Grassroots Education Movement and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) will sponsor a two-hour bus tour of Chicago public schools hurt by CPS' disastrous funding shortfall.

"Governor Rauner's stunt won't pass legal muster, and instead jeopardizes the opening for dozens of school districts around the state", CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a statement.

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"We're here to demand that Speaker (Michael) Madigan and Senate President (John) Cullerton to send us the school funding bill now", Rauner said.

No matter what, something must be done to move IL to an evidence-based model of funding like the intent of SB 1, otherwise no state aid will be disbursed to schools - rendering many unable to open in the fall.

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

A funding bill crucial to schools across IL opening this fall will receive an amendatory veto "immediately" upon arrival, Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday.

Others said they'd have to cut back.

This year was a breakthrough for proponents, as SB1 passed both House and Senate with Democratic support. It also allocates about $300 million more to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for state aid and pensions. That has raised the possibility some school districts largely dependent on state funding may not be able to open for classes next month.

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