Two Southern Illinois Senators Say Schools Need Funding Now

Jul 18, 2017

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.

Republican State Senator Paul Schimpf says he understands why Rauner opposes it because it gives too much money to Chicago Public Schools.
"If it did not have this Chicago pension bailout, it would have almost unanimous support in the General Assembly. I wholeheartedly agree with the governor's call to stop playing politics and let the process work the way that it's supposed to."
GOP Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg says school funding should be about equal treatment for all 852 Illinois school districts.
"We want to see our kids here in southern Illinois receive the same support that children in Chicago receive. It should be fair across the board. Our kids here in southern Illinois should not be held captive for that, to bailout Chicago for their mismanagement."

Fowler says he knows the situation is critical in his district after he met with 22 superintendents a few weeks ago.

"Eighty percent of those districts, of the 22, have less than 120 days of operating capital. Approximately 80 percent of those have less than 90 days. Actually, four of our school districts, the superintendents stated that they will be unable to open the doors without funding."