Decatur schools 'wait and see' after Senate school-funding vote

14 August, 2017, 04:39 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Senate Democrats Send Governor School Funding Bill

The motion to override the governor's veto also would have to pass with a three-fifths majority in the House, which is set to convene Wednesday.

"It is also not good for any school district that is underfunded today in the state of IL, which is a vast majority of public school districts. I hope we can talk about relief from unfunded mandates for all schools, not just Chicago", McCarter said. It was unclear if the chamber would be able to muster the 71 votes required for an override.

Senate Bill 1 will go back to the Illinois House of Representatives. In a statement, Stadelman said, "The governor's veto would remove protections from the school funding formula that take into account a school district's ability to pay". It's created to determine funding levels for specific districts based in part on the number of students living in poverty, lacking English-language skills and other data-driven measurements. "We could have voted to uphold the veto and make sure our schools are fairly and equitably funded, instead Democrats again chose to continue to hold up funding for our children's educations". That is what we're seeking to cure in Senate Bill 1.

"What undoubtedly was a lack of negotiations for weeks during the months of June and July that only happened after Governor Rauner made a decision to put Republicans at a table and sit with us and have those negotiations", said Senator Andy Manar.

"Even during a time of hyper-partisanship in Springfield, we can find a way to navigate through this minefield once and for all", Manar said. Democrats have a 67 to 51 majority, and would need at least four Republicans to vote yes to override.

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CPS said its board of education will vote on the budget on August 28. Rauner argues it is too generous to Chicago public schools. Many public school districts are scheduled to open this week or next week.

A key to Manar's plan is the "hold harmless" stipulation, which ensures no less funding than previous year.

Critics of SB 1, including Rauner, have called it a "bailout" for cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools because the bill as passed by the legislature takes into account the district's $505 million in unfunded pension liability, plus $221 million in its normal pension payments, as well as the $203 million Chicago Block Grant, when determining how much it should receive in state funding.

Two hours before the Senate action to override Rauner, the governor implored lawmakers to embrace his changes and recognize "true fairness and equity". "It shows that for years the state has been sending money to Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state", Rauner said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is imploring lawmakers not to reverse his veto of school-funding legislation. Because neither the legislation nor any other evidence-based program has become law, the state can't cut any aid checks to schools.

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