Start of school in IL in jeopardy because of budget battle

Jul 19, 2017, 00:33
Start of school in IL in jeopardy because of budget battle

"The work we've done on policy and political advocacy over the past three election cycles and the progress we've made in that time must culminate with Gov. Rauner's re-election in 2018 and an end to Speaker [Michael] Madigan's reign in the House", Besler told the Tribune in a statement. Despite final approval on May 31, Sen. The bill passed both the Senate and House with bipartisan support. "And then they're going to try and force passage of that bill because they inserted a poison pill in it".

Instead of millions of dollars going to pay Chicago teachers' pensions, he wants that money sent to other districts in need. If the bill is not sent to the governor soon, public schools throughout the state may not open in time for the new school year, he said.

A veto of the half billion dollar giveaway to Chicago schools will prove popular with downstate Republicans and suburbanites who have been trending more Democratic in recent elections.

Escalating pension payments have led to drained reserves, debt dependency and junk bond ratings for CPS, the nation's third-largest public school system.

The provision changed the formula for state aid to schools, moving to what Democrats call an "evidence based" formula which is a poorly disguised way to enrich the CPS at the expense of rural and suburban schools.

The controversy for the bills comes from the extra money set aside for Chicago schools.

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

SB1 was approved 60-52 in the House and 35-22 in the Senate, both below the three-fifths majorities necessary to override any veto.

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Asked if Rauner's theory was true, Cullerton spokesman John Patterson said "no", but would not say when the legislation would be sent to Rauner's desk.

"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.

"It is clear to me today that (Rauner) intends to use the children of IL as leverage for his political agenda when he could be working out a compromise to accomplish a much-needed and long-awaited reform", Manar said.

Rauner says that's why he needs this bill sooner rather than later. "I am saddened and discouraged by his display today", said Manar.

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.

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

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.

This is the right plan for the state of IL and puts our children and their education first.

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