(CBS) – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner again threatened to partially veto the statewide school funding plan passed by state lawmakers, while school superintendents from across Lake County issued an open plea for him to approve the plan as-is.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley takes a look at what’s at stake.
With little more than a month until many school districts open their doors, Springfield still hasn’t finalized a school funding plan. Rauner on Monday threatened to use his amendatory veto power on the plan passed by the legislature.
“When I amendatory-veto that bill it will become balanced, it will be equitable and fair to all the school districts around the state,” the governor said.
The school finding plan, known as Senate Bill 1, is a historic measure. It re-writes Illinois’ current school funding formula, which is recognized as both inadequate and inequitable.
No school district would receive less funding, but poor districts would receive substantially more.
“It’s good for Lake County, it’s good for every school district in the state of Illinois, and the new formula will direct these new resources to students across Illinois who need them the most and need that assistance first and foremost,” says Brian Harris, superintendent for Barrington School District 220.
Rauner says he is opposed to SB 1 because it favors Chicago at the expense of other districts.
“What they’ve inserted into it is a pension bailout for Chicago that’s going to cost hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars every year to the taxpayers of Illinois — money that could and should go to the school districts around the state of Illinois.”
That’s an argument superintendents from across Lake County — from districts rich and poor — came together to flatly reject.
“I do believe it’s equitable,” Harris says.
Springfield usually starts sending out school aid checks by Aug. 10, but that won’t happen unless the two sides can quickly find common ground.
None of the Lake County superintendents say their schools won’t open on time. But at least one, from the Millburn district, said they’d run out of money by April without their usual state aid.
Others said they’d have to cut back.