Education Funding

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.

After the first day of a special session on education, Democratic lawmakers and the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner appear no closer to resolving the dispute that could hold up money for school districts. Rauner continues to demand Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions.

Governor Calls Special Session on School Funding

Jul 24, 2017

Sticking to his promise, Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield to discuss school funding.

Governor Bruce Rauner is threatening a special session if lawmakers don't send him the education funding reform bill they passed.

The measure is sitting in the Senate and Governor Rauner says lawmakers have until noon on Monday to advance it.

A pair of southern Illinois lawmakers says Democratic leaders need to send Governor Rauner the education funding formula measure he promises to veto.

Lawmakers approved a state budget more than a week ago, but that legislation requires enactment of a new school-funding plan.

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.

The shakeup in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office seems to signal a tougher stance on school funding. The state spending plan passed by the General Assembly requires adoption of a new funding formula, but Rauner has promised to veto the only school formula plan that got legislative approval. This standoff might make the lawsuit filed by 21 school superintendents more relevant.

 

The lawsuit, filed in April, demands that Illinois honor its constitutional obligation to provide a high quality education for all students.

The state of Illinois has a budget. But, that's not the case for the state's K through 12 schools.

Mt. Vernon Schools Superintendent Aletta Lawrence says the spending plan can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

In a maneuver some state lawmakers call a "booby trap," the spending plan approved last week says Illinois can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

Educators across the state are anxiously watching the special session in Springfield.

The lack of a budget for K through 12 schools has some wondering if they'll have to alter their calendars for the upcoming academic year.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

There is a new Regional Superintendent of Schools for Williamson, Franklin, Johnson and Massac counties.

The four county chairmen Thursday unanimously approved Lorie LeQuatte to replace Matt Donkin, who is the new District Superintendent in West Frankfort.

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