Gov­er­nor ve­toes Chicago schools bill

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

SPRING­FIELD, Ill. — Illi­nois Gov. Bruce Rauner used his veto power Tues­day to strip mil­lions of dol­lars for Chicago Pub­lic Schools from a school fund­ing over­haul.

The move could mean that no districts get state money be­fore classes be­gin this year.

Among the rewrites, the Repub­li­can re­moved help for Chicago Pub­lic Schools’ pen­sions along with money the district for­merly re­ceived in the form of a block grant.

“With my changes, Illi­nois can achieve his­toric ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing re­form that is fair and eq­ui­table to all Illi­nois’ chil­dren,” Rauner said at a Capi­tol news con­fer­ence.

The bill now re­turns to the Demo­crat-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture, where a three-fifths vote in both cham­bers is needed to ei­ther over­ride Rauner’s changes or ap­prove them to be able to send money to schools this year. If nei­ther cham­ber can get the votes, or if there’s no vote within 15 days from when the veto is filed with the Se­nate, the leg­is­la­tion dies.

Ahead of Rauner’s news con­fer­ence, Democrats warned that any veto would undo years of work aimed at over­haul­ing a school-fund­ing for­mula that’s con­sid­ered the most in­equitable in the na­tion.

A new school for­mula is re­quired as part of a state bud­get deal that leg­is­la­tors ap­proved in July over Rauner’s veto, end­ing an im­passe that reached a third year. With­out the new school fund­ing leg­is­la­tion, districts won’t get paid. The first pay­ment to schools is due Aug. 10.

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