Peru superintendent says Rauner school funding veto 'went entirely too far'
Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the state's K-12 funding bill would deny local schools money now and in the future, the superintendent of Peru Elementary School District 124 contends.
"I 100 percent support the only school funding reform bill that has passed the Illinois State Legislature in decades, and that is SB1,” Mark Cross said in a statement. “While I was open to any bill built on the evidence-based funding model, this is the one that passed, and unfortunately Governor Rauner's amendatory veto went entirely too far and decimated the evidence-based funding mechanism contained in the bill. As a result, every House member should vote to override the amendatory veto of SB1. If this does not happen, there is no mechanism for local school districts to receive any FY18 funding."
Under a poison pill in the state's new budget, Illinois must enact a new funding formula for public schools before they may receive any state money. While Senate Bill 1 in its original formula utilizes an evidence-based model that relies on district-wide figures, Rauner used an amendatory veto to eventually change to a per-pupil accounting.
The Senate voted to override Rauner's veto and keep SB1 in its original form. The House has yet to act on the measure.
“One last thing, just so you know – it is only [in] the first two years that the higher funding applies to some downstate districts (four in our area actually lose funds) since they are taking the funds from Chicago and dispersing downstate,” Cross said in his statement. “After this, because of the amendatory veto, there is no assurance of adequate state funding going forward."