Education Funding

As districts around the state begin reaping the benefits of Illinois' new school funding formula, Democratic lawmakers who just happen to be up for re-election gathered today to remind voters that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner initially vetoed that funding, and likewise vetoed legislation that would raise minimum teacher salaries to $40,000 over the next five years.

 

State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who sponsored the legislation and is seeking re-election, says it's possible to get enough votes to override the veto when the General Assembly convenes shortly after midterm elections in November.

Illinois’ new school funding formula — approved last year — could already be facing revisions. That's because lawmakers had such a tough time agreeing on this new formula, they tried to ensure they'd never have to fight so hard again. So they built in a Professional Review Panel, and empowered the group to recommend recalibrations as needed.


​One idea under consideration: Adding a racial equity component, to address the historic underfunding of predominantly black districts.

Illinois has traditionally used a competitive grant process to parcel out money for preschools.

In the past, that competition was limited to programs that had a history of getting state funds.

The Illinois state comptroller is releasing $350 million to public school districts statewide as part of the newly approved education-funding overhaul.

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed what education officials say is the final law needed to make major changes to the way Illinois funds public schools.

The General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a small technical bill.

It was necessary to implement the massive school funding reform that Rauner has listed as his main accomplishment.

The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday voted unanimously to ask the general assembly to DOUBLE state funding for public schools.

Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner used his veto authority to make big changes to a small clean-up bill that’s necessary to enact school funding reform. Democrats who pushed the reform warned that Rauner’s action could derail the bipartisan effort to make school funding more equitable. As it turns out, they’re not the only ones upset about it.

Nearly 200 Illinois school districts will lose out on equitable funding if lawmakers can't come up with a way to deal with the amendatory veto Governor Bruce Rauner issued last week.

He has made campaign commercials touting the new school funding formula, but he nixed a trailer bill that clarified funding for districts with certain tax caps.

Illinois' new school funding plan includes a controversial one-hundred-million-dollar tax-credit program to provide private school scholarships. The date to reserve those credits is fast approaching.

Just when you thought the state’s controversial battle over school funding was over, it turns out there’s a few technicalities that need to be addressed.

State lawmakers have returned to their districts after the first week of the annual Fall Veto Session. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller sat down with Murphysboro Republican Representative Terri Bryant to talk about some of last week’s votes, and look ahead to next week.

Illinois’ new school funding plan — approved in August and hailed as a historic change — relies on the legislature to give every school the same state aid it got last year, plus push another $350 million through a new formula. That $350 million is crucial because it’s the part designed to address the inequity that has plagued Illinois schools for decades.

 

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Democrat from Shorewood, wants to make sure lawmakers don't skip that step.

One promise heard repeatedly during debate over the state's new school funding plan was "no red numbers," meaning any legislation that would make a district lose money was dead on arrival.

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Chicago Tribune

Governor Bruce Rauner has approved a major change in the way Illinois funds public schools.

He signed the bipartisan legislation at a school in Chicago, calling it a historic achievement.

Southern Illinois senators Dale Fowler and Paul Schimpf split their votes on the education funding plan approved by lawmakers.

The Illinois Senate is advancing the education funding reform compromise.

The bill restructures how money is paid out to districts, aiming for a more equitable system.

It took three different votes, but Illinois may finally be getting the new school funding formula lawmakers have been working on for the past few years. The state House of Representatives yesterday approved a new evidence-based school funding plan. It's a compromise, containing most of the plan Democrats proposed months ago, plus a new $75 million program that would provide tax credits to organizations offering private school scholarships.

Teachers unions criticized that provision.

But Representative Bob Pritchard, a Republican from Hinckley, says this school funding reform measure is one of the best things the Illinois House has done.

The Illinois House approved a new school funding plan Monday that will increase state money for all districts and provide $75 million in tax credits for people who donated to private school scholarships.

Illinois' legislative leaders met at the statehouse Sunday to draft what they hope will be the final touches on a school funding compromise. 

Illinois' legislative leaders say they've reached a tentative agreement in the state's school funding fight, but details are still being worked out.

School superintendents from southern Illinois are pushing lawmakers to reach an agreement on overhauling the state's school funding formula.

Some spoke in Springfield Wednesday.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she will likely have to skip another payment to the state's schools.

That's because of a political fight between Democrats in the legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been drumming up opposition to the Democrats' new school funding plan by touting how much more money each district would receive under his version.

Some Republican lawmakers say the Illinois State House of Representatives may not have the votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a school funding bill Wednesday.

The Illinois State Senate spent Sunday in session, where Senators voted 38 to 19 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the new school funding bill. The override wasn't a surprise, because this new evidence-based funding plan had originally cleared the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The House, however, represents a higher hurdle, where Democrats will need Republicans to vote with them. That vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Sen. Andy Manar, the Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the measure, says he'd rather negotiate a compromise.

Teacher unions are opposing a draft proposal that would divert tax revenue away from the state to pay tuition for sending students to private schools.

They criticize it as a school voucher program.

Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday vetoed significant portions of legislation that would overhaul the way Illinois funds public schools.

Much of the legislation has bipartisan support. But, the governor took issue with Democratic provisions meant to help Chicago Public Schools.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature appears headed to another showdown with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner after sending him the school funding reform bill Monday afternoon.

Governor Bruce Rauner complained again Thursday that he still hasn't gotten his hands on Senate Bill 1, the Democrat-sponsored legislation that would change the state's school funding formula.

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