Debate continues over IL school funding formula bill

While Rauner and Republican lawmakers oppose the bill because it provides extra financial help for Chicago teachers' pensions at the expense of other districts, supporters of the legislation contend it's unfair for the state to pick up the pension tab of the state's 850-plus school districts except for CPS.

The Democratic author of Senate Bill 1, State Sen. The Senate margin is veto proof, but the House total is well short of the 60 percent required for an override.

He said the grant was originally intended for Chicago public schools to pay for pensions, but that didn't happen.

He said Chicago will get an estimated $72 million of the $350 million while the rest of the state's school districts will have to make do with the remaining money.

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John Patterson, spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton, said discussions on releasing the legislation were ongoing.

Rauner will be in Rockford to discuss funding reform later on today.

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.

"You're not supposed to just be loyal to Speaker Madigan and do what he orders you to do", said Rauner.

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Democrats, not surprisingly, expressed anger at Rauner's words.

"I am confident that the addition of Matt Besler to Governor Rauner's re-election campaign will strengthen the focus on the many ways in which Illinois' policies and political culture has hurt families and businesses", Ives said in the statement.

Though the bill is held up in the Senate, Rauner focused most of his scorn Monday on a familiar target: Madigan. "All children, regardless of their zip code, deserve an equitable education, and it starts with changing the way schools are funded". With a school year set to begin in a few weeks, superintendents from around the state strongly support it. Lake County school superintendents hope a new state funding formula will promise more equity among all school districts, regardless of their zip code. IL schools rely on local property taxes to cover more than 60 percent of their costs, it said. The bi-partisan Senate bill 1 fixes what many say is a decades-old broken education funding system. "Unfortunately, Democrats want to turn this historic opportunity into a bailout for the CPS pension system", Rauner said.

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

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