Steans contends Senate override made school funding bill fair
Overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the state's K-12 funding bill puts all Illinois schools on even ground, Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said in a statement, according to Capitol Fax.
“The governor attempted to remove equity for Chicago from Senate Bill 1 in his amendatory veto and force Chicago Public Schools’ students to pay for a pension problem they did not create,” Steans said in the statement. “To be truly equitable, school funding reform must recognize the fact that Chicago is the only school district in the state that is responsible for its own pension payments. Senate Bill 1 corrects this inequality and provides pension parity for Chicago Public Schools.”
An Illinois State Board of Education analysis shows that Rauner’s changes to the bill would result in a $463 million drop in CPS’ funding for the upcoming school year. Rauner’s office put the figure at $242 million, accounting for a $221 million pension pickup. The Senate voted on Sunday to override Rauner’s veto, but the House has not yet scheduled a vote to do the same.
“Today I voted with my colleagues in the Senate to override the governor’s veto and bring Illinois students — both in Chicago and throughout the state —one step closer to a fair school funding formula for the first time in decades,” Steans said in her statement. “It is time for all Illinois students to have access to a quality education, regardless of where they live.”