Rauner promises amendatory veto for school funding bill

Illinois governor's office

"We're here to demand that Speaker (Michael) Madigan and Senate President (John) Cullerton send us the school funding bill now", Rauner said. Rauner warned that if the bill doesn't get to his desk soon, schools may not open as scheduled in the fall.

"It's good for Lake County, it's good for every school district in the state of IL, and the new formula will direct these new resources to students across IL who need them the most and need that assistance first and foremost", says Brian Harris, superintendent for Barrington School District 220. It also allocates about $300 million more to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for state aid and pensions.

The governor, a long-time critic of the financially struggling CPS, said the bill benefits "one school district" at the expense of others.

Springfield usually starts sending out school aid checks by August 10, but that won't happen unless the two sides can quickly find common ground.

The recently approved $36 billion state budget included an additional $350 million for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms.

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The governor, surrounded by several local Republican lawmakers, said he will remove a "poison pill" in the bill that would require the state to pick up the employer's portion of teacher pensions costs for the Chicago Public Schools, something the state does for all other IL school districts.

No school district would receive less funding, but poor districts would receive substantially more.

At a stop at Mount Zion Junior High School, Rauner said he could not fully support the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, the public school funding bill also known as Senate Bill 1, as it now stands.

Emanuel has said Chicago schools will open September 5 as scheduled - regardless of what Rauner does. Rauner on Monday threatened to use his amendatory veto power on the plan passed by the legislature.

"If we wait any longer for Governor Rauner to do the right thing, principals will not be able to organize their schools, and we will use SB1's funding parameters to plan, since there are no other options on the table", Bittner said in a statement.

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