Gov. Rauner Calls Special Session on Education Funding Bill

School District Funding Bill Comparison - Illinois.gov

Mayor Emanuel is taking a dim view of Governor Rauner's decision to call a special legislative session to begin Wednesday, to address school funding in IL. He says once he receives it, he will use an "Amendatory Veto" to remove language he says provides a "bailout" to Chicago Public Schools for its underfunded pensions.

At a news conference earlier on Monday, Rauner accused Democrats who control the legislature of "playing political games" with the state's approximately 2 million school children by not sending him the education funding bill.

For tired IL taxpayers, it's just the latest flashpoint in an ongoing struggle between the first-term Republican executive and majority legislative Democrats. But it also requires the state to pay the employer portion of Chicago Public Schools' teacher pensions.

John Cullerton is the Democratic Senate president from Chicago.

Districts can't finalize their school calendars or budgets without knowing how much state money is coming, said Madison County Regional Superintendent Bob Daiber, who is among several Democrats vying to challenge Rauner in the 2018 election.

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According to a data table published on Illinois.gov, the alternative plan to SB1 keeps the same evidence-based funding formula for different districts but redistributes some of the funding now directed toward CPS.

"I'd like to have a conversation with Governor Rauner in hopes of getting some clarity as to exactly what is going on", Cullerton said in a statement on Monday. "It was hijacked at the last minute by the majority in Springfield and a poison pill was inserted to force payments to a pension system that's broken unsustainable and it needs reform". "Our schools must open on time". "We slowed down the process in the Senate in order to let everyone blow off some steam, politically speaking".

Despite questions from Chicago reporters Monday morning, Rauner has still not given out any information on what will be in his amendatory veto.

Next week students in the Rock Island/Milan School District will head back to school. He says he wants to discuss the matter with Rauner instead of starting a costly special session.

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