Crusader staff report
The future of Chicago Public Schools grew brighter Sunday, August 13 after the Illinois Senate voted 38-19 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding bill.
Black leaders praised the move, saying CPS and minority students would have suffered under Rauner’s plan.
The vote moves the bill closer to helping CPS, which is counting heavily on the state to provide financial relief to the cash-strapped district.
The bill is now in the hands of the House, where it has 15 days to decide on the override. The deadline to send out state aid payments expired August 10, but the state lawmakers need to approve an “evidence-based” school funding formula before it can release those funds. The requirement is part of an agreement Democratic lawmakers included in a budget package that was passed in June.
Under Rauner’s plan, CPS would have received $463 less, according to an analysis by the Illinois state Board of Education. Democrats were concerned that school districts such as Chicago would lose money in the next several years under Rauner’s plan, which would have redistributed funds from CPS to other school districts in the state. It’s a plan that Rauner said ensures fairness because the state is tired of bailing out CPS.
“For decades students have suffered under a broken formula that shortchanged low income children throughout the state,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). “The governor’s veto fell far from our goal of making a quality education a reality for every child in Illinois.”
State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement.
“Youth throughout our state deserve the opportunity to have a fair shot at obtaining a quality education. My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our effort to bring equitable education to all parts of the state, was achieved. Our schools need the proper investment and certainty that Senate Bill 1 provides. I stand committed to making sure our schools stay open and fixing our broken funding formula.”
State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) said “Our governor’s attempt at holding our children’s education hostage is just another political ploy.”
Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) said, “Senate Bill 1 is the only plan that ensures no schools in Illinois lose funding. I am proud to vote to override the governor’s harmful amendatory veto. It’s the best thing for all Illinois children. I hope the House is able to do the same.”
The Senate override of Rauner’s amendatory veto is good news to CPS, which recently unveiled a $5.7 billion 2018 budget after it announced a $269 million shortfall August 11. City officials are mum about where the funds would come from.
In addition to funds from the city, the CPS budget is counting on $300 million in the school funding bill that’s now in the House.
Chicago officials say the CPS budget will serve as only a framework for the eventual fiscal 2018 budget.