Rezin says Rauner did what he had to do for state's school kids
Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said recently that Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the state's K-12 funding bill was the only way to safeguard equal treatment of public schools throughout the state.
“I support Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1,” Rezin said in a statement. “As a result of this action, every school and student in Illinois would be treated fairly and equitably.”
SB1 introduces an evidence-based model of funding, which has gained general support from both sides of the aisle, but Democratic changes to the measure just before passage provided additional funding to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), including to pay for teacher pensions.
Rauner, who was sent the bill two months after it had passed the Legislature, stripped it of the CPS additions via amendatory veto. The bill was sent back for reconsideration in the General Assembly.
“As originally written, Senate Bill 1 diverted millions of dollars to Chicago at the expense of suburban and downstate schools,” Rezin said in her statement. “If we are serious about treating every student the same and giving every student the same opportunities, his changes to Senate Bill 1 reflect those priorities.”
According to Rauner's office, the veto also removed provisions that would see education costs consistently increase. The bill includes a hold-harmless provision that ensures school districts do not receive less funding than they did the year before. In his veto, Rauner keeps the provision in place through the 2020-21 school year but changes it to a per-pupil hold-harmless mandate after that. He also removed the minimum funding requirement included in the original legislation.
“Under his amendatory veto compared to Senate Bill 1 as originally passed, schools in my district would see substantially more new money,” Rezin said in her statement. “For those who say I should support Senate Bill 1 as originally passed, I simply ask how is fighting for more funding for our local schools bad policy?”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the first payment to public schools was scheduled for earlier this month and that schools that do not receive funding might be forced to cut some programs, borrow money or use their reserve funds.
To get the funding in place, state lawmakers must vote to accept the amended measure or override it. If they do neither by the end of August, SB1 is effectively dead.
“I would encourage my legislative colleagues to support the governor’s action, or work together in good faith to pass a bipartisan compromise, either of which will give parents peace of mind and ensure all schools open time and remain open,” Rezin said in her statement.
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