Lawmakers adjourn 3rd day of school funding special session


"In fact, it seemed as if the Democrats in the room were only interested in poking holes in the process, and they had no honest interest in negotiating in good faith to come to a bipartisan agreement".

During a Board of Education meeting July 17, State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, spoke to board members and administrators about the recent budget vote and the funding plan being demanded of the state legislature by Governor Bruce Rauner.

The state's first payment to schools is due August 10th, but most districts say they have a way to get through the first few months of the school year without state funding.

Many districts are concerned about how long schools can stay open without state money.

After weeks of demands, Governor Rauner finally has Senate Bill One on his desk.

Prior to the bill being sent to Rauner on Monday, a bipartisan group of legislators met behind closed doors after starting talks over the weekend. Sen.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton said he would release the bill Monday.

It was unclear Monday afternoon if Cullerton still plans to send Rauner the plan, which aims to make funding more equitable between districts.

Rauner has promised to use his amendatory veto powers to "fix" the bill by stripping out some of that CPS money and give it to other school districts, but so far he's been unwilling to detail the specific changes he wants to make. But he has repeatedly declined to specify what exactly he'll do. If that attempted fails, the bill dies. A clause in the state budget lawmakers approved over Rauner's veto would prevent schools from receiving state funding without the new "evidence-based" formula in place.

The Senate approved the legislation with a veto-proof majority, and although the House vote was short of the three-fifths majority needed to reject Rauner's changes, Speaker Michael Madigan has said he thinks there's a good chance for an override.

A school funding bill, passed by the Illinois Senate, has found its way to the Governor's desk.

Railing against Chicago, its financially troubled schools and its politicians has been a tried and true political strategy for Rauner, who used it to win his first public office in 2014 and has maintained the theme as his poll numbers have sunk, making him one of the nation's most vulnerable GOP governors.

The biggest issue that Batinick said he had with the bill as amended was that the vast majority of new funding went to Chicago Public Schools.