Rauner AV Potentially Delays New School Funding, Creates Lax Eligibility Criteria for Publicly Funded Private School Scholarship Program
In an unexpected move that blindsided local school districts and elected officials, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto of SB444, the school funding bill, putting the distribution of $7 million in additional school funding for the Round Lake Beach area in limbo unless lawmakers vote to override.
Governor Rauner’s veto flies in the face of the recommendation of his own State Board of Education, who urged lawmakers to pass the measure so they could implement the new funding formula correctly in November, 2017.
“Once again Governor Rauner is using children and public schools as political pawns to create a crisis,” said Representative Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake. “His amendatory veto is a clear attempt to leverage the bi-partisan will of the legislature to enact equitable school funding against his desire to let unvetted private schools access public dollars. It’s unacceptable, and I will fight to override his veto in Springfield.”
Local school districts also responded to Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto by calling for an override.
“CCSD #46 is in full support of an override to the Governor’s amendatory veto of the recent education funding measure,” said Superintendent Ellen Correll, Community Consolidated School District 46. “The possibility of further delay or loss of these funds will interfere with the District’s ability to implement initiatives with a focus on improving student performance which is the goal of the Evidence Based Funding Model.”
“The new funding model is a more fair and equitable system for all districts in Illinois,” said Mikkel Storaasli, Ed.D, Superintendent, Grayslake Community High School District 127. “Distribution of funds should not be delayed to the schools in the most need.”
“The new state funding bill greatly assists school districts, like Round Lake, that under the prior funding formula have been underfunded for many years,” said Bill Johnston, Chief Financial Officer, Round Lake Community Unit School District 116. “Additionally, as a district that is heavily dependent on state funding and with the proration of state funding that previously had occurred, the disparity in funding on a per pupil basis between school districts across the State has increased. The new evidence-based funding model established the roadmap to ensure that all school districts are adequately and equitably funded. The new funding bill will provide more opportunities and programs for the children in Round Lake and help us get to the same per-pupil spending level of other districts. As a result of the veto, there may be a delay in distributing the additional funding for this year. This impacts the implementation of these much needed programs for all of our students.
Round Lake Area Schools Community Unit School District 116 supports SB 444 and encourages the legislative bodies to override the amendatory veto of the bill so the appropriate distribution of funds can occur as soon as possible.”
Lawmakers will have the opportunity to begin the override process when they return to Springfield for the legislative session that begins January 30, 2018.