Governor Bruce Rauner is eager to use his veto pen to alter the school funding reform plan adopted by the General Assembly in June. There’s just one problem: It’s not on his desk.
School funding reform is one of the few ideas that has bipartisan support in Illinois. Both Democrats and Republicans proposed a new evidence-based model, designed to send more state dollars to districts with high poverty. But the Democrats bill is the only one that made it through the General Assembly. Rauner, a Republican, immediately said he would veto it, so Democrats have held onto it. But with schools set to open next month, Rauner is now demanding Democrats send it along. “Why are they sittin’ on that bill? They wanna threaten to hold up school funding so schools don’t open this fall, to try to force a pension bailout for the City of Chicago on the backs of Illinois taxpayers.” State Senator Andy Manar, the Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the measure, said no. “We’re going to continue to hold the bill until the governor comes to his senses and sits down and negotiates with us instead of through television cameras and the press.”
Illinois already covers pension costs for districts other than CPS.