Rauner Says He’s ‘Open To Compromise’ On School Funding Dispute

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Bruce Rauner said he’s willing to accept a compromise on education funding in Illinois, after removing $250 million in state money for Chicago Public Schools from legislation that would overhaul the state’s school funding formula.

The governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, landmark legislation to establish so-called “evidence-based” school funding in Illinois, would take away a $250 million block grant for CPS. Rauner said he’s standing his ground, even as Democratic leaders in the House and Senate try to come up with the votes to override him.

However, Rauner said he could accept a compromise that lawmakers might work out to restore the CPS funding.

“I’ve laid out what I’m recommending. I think it’s a great plan. My amendatory veto is great for low-income kids in every community, including Chicago; but I said if the majority under Speaker Madigan doesn’t like it, come up with another proposal, and I’ve encouraged them. The good news is that they’ve been meeting,” he said.

The governor said he moved to change Senate Bill 1 because he believes it diverts hundreds of millions of dollars meant for classrooms across the state to help CPS shore up its teachers’ pension system, and he thinks that’s wrong, but he said he’d accept a compromise that restores some of that $250 million grant to CPS.

“Absolutely. I’m always open to compromise, I’m always open to new ideas, and in fact that’s why I told the legislators go back and meet with your colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Try to work out a new idea,” he said.

However, Democrats said it was the governor’s unwillingness to compromise on education funding that led to the veto.

Rauner is the guest on this weekend’s edition of At Issue, airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM.

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