Rauner vetoes school funding legislation - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Rauner vetoes school funding legislation

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on school funding legislation Tuesday morning.

Rauner was expected to use his veto power to remove some money for Chicago Public Schools from a school funding bill. This is a move that could jeopardize funding for Illinois' roughly 850 districts.

Rauner issued the following statement:

It doesn’t matter where you come from or who your family is. With a great education, you can go anywhere in life and be whomever you want to be. You can grow up, get a good job and provide for your family. That’s why the changes I have made to the education funding bill are so important. With my changes, our state ensures that enough resources flow to children in the poorest and most disadvantaged school districts across the entire state. And my changes ensure that the education funding system in our state is fair and equitable to all students in Illinois.

Democrats on Monday sent to Rauner a school funding overhaul they passed in May but held on to over concerns the governor would veto the plan.

Rauner has called the money for Chicago a "bailout" and promised to strip it.

The veto makes the following changes:

  • Maintains a per-district hold harmless until the 2020-2021 school year, and then moves to a per-pupil hold harmless based on a three-year rolling average of enrollment.
  • Removes the minimum funding requirement. While the governor is committed to ensuring that the legislature satisfies its duty to fund schools, the proposed trigger of one percent of the overall adequacy target plus $93 million artificially inflates the minimum funding number and jeopardizes Tier II funding. 
  • Removes the Chicago block grant from the funding formula. 
  • Removes both Chicago Public Schools pension considerations from the formula: the normal cost pick-up and the unfunded liability deduction.
  • Reintegrates the normal cost pick-up for Chicago Public Schools into the Pension Code where it belongs, and finally begins to treat Chicago like all other districts with regards to the State’s relationship with its teachers’ pensions. 
  • Eliminates the PTELL and TIF equalized assessed value subsidies that allow districts to continue under-reporting property wealth. 
  • Removes the escalators throughout the bill that automatically increase costs. 
  • Retains the floor for the regionalization factor, for the purposes of equity, and adds a cap, for the purposes of adequacy. 

Rauner's office reported the amendatory veto also removes the accounting for future pension cost shifts to districts in the Adequacy Target.

"This prevents districts from ever fully taking responsibility for the normal costs of their teachers’ pensions," the office stated in a news release.

The bill now returns to the Legislature, where three-fifths of lawmakers in both chambers must either approve or override Rauner's changes. Both options will be difficult. If neither chamber can muster the votes, the legislation dies.

Read the full amendatory veto letter issued by Rauner below:

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