Governor Rauner to Talk Education Funding in Rockford Monday

A former staffer who worked for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has been fired after less than one day on the job, possibly the shortest political career on record.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady released a joint statement praising the move. The bi-partisan Senate bill 1 fixes what many say is a decades-old broken education funding system. "The point of this school reform bill is to help low income students across the state, including those in Chicago, get the education they deserve - not to bailout CPS's mismanaged teacher pension system".

"Senator Duckworth and I have sent Governor Rauner four letters asking a simple question: What would the Republican repeal bill do to the state of IL?" That is because the amendatory veto as used by Rauner would substantially change the bill's intent to make teacher pension funding more equitable.

Bennett said the bill calls for evidence-based funding for K-12 schools with schools being considered for funding based on a set of 27 different criteria.

Referring to the longtime Democratic Speaker of the House as "ruthless", "cold-blooded" and a "tyrant", Rauner blamed Madigan for the concerns of school officials across the state about whether IL would come through on its funding promise. "Chicago will not get the money, Decatur is going to get the money".

Rauner indicated Monday that he plans to use his veto pen to zero out CPS' pension money so that it instead would go to classrooms in rural and suburban school districts, which aren't responsible for their own pension costs.

Rauner was severely weakened by the veto override of his budget and tax bills.

"Rauner put his re-election campaign ahead of Illinois' students", DGA Illinois communications director Sam Salustro said.

"We have a chance to make history and adopt a new school funding plan that, for the first time, ensures all school districts in IL are equitably and adequately funded", Rauner said in a statement. "I am saddened and discouraged by his display today", said Manar.

"Governor Rauner's stunt won't pass legal muster, and instead jeopardizes the opening for dozens of school districts around the state".

IL has its belated 2017 budget in place after two years but there is no public school funding included.

At issue is the way the bill factors CPS' finances into what would become the new statewide funding formula.

Rauner's education adviser, Beth Purvis, has previously said the governor agreed with "90 percent" of SB1, though she also said he planned to veto it.

  • Joey Payne