Illinois Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of Chicago School Aid

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 14, 2017

Critics of SB 1, including Rauner, have called it a "bailout" for cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools because the bill as passed by the legislature takes into account the district's $505 million in unfunded pension liability, plus $221 million in its normal pension payments, as well as the $203 million Chicago Block Grant, when determining how much it should receive in state funding.

71 members of the House (a three-fifths majority) must also vote to override - which may prove to be more hard, as just 60 voted for SB 1 the first time - or the legislation dies without a contingency plan in place.

"Every district in IL is facing unnecessary - and unconscionable - uncertainty about how much funding they will receive from the State, thanks to Governor Rauner's veto of a historical education funding reform bill", said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool in a statement. Decatur school leaders have said the district's reserves should hold out until mid-November, and the district leaders would consider borrowing money after that.

An analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education released Saturday found that CPS would receive $463 million less under Rauner's education funding plan than under the model passed by the General Assembly. Rauner issued an amendatory veto the next day, making changes that included removing hundreds of millions of dollars for Chicago Public Schools. He said it reveals that "the vast majority of our neediest districts get millions" of dollars more.

SB1, which would introduce evidence-based funding to the state's schools, has been back in the Legislature since August 1, where it faces an August 16 deadline of passage or override.

Ahead of the vote, state Sen. It prohibited disbursing money unless it was done through a newly devised "evidence-based" model aimed at getting more money to the neediest school districts. Andy Manar, the Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored Senate Bill 1, called on Rauner to reach a compromise.

"The way the original bill treated Chicago was not beneficial to the district I represent", Wehrli said.

The governor is calling on state lawmakers to uphold his veto. "It shows that for years the state has been sending money to Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state".

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