Gov. Rauner to make changes to education funding bill

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MT. ZION, Ill. (WAND) - Governor Bruce Rauner is asking the Illinois Senate to send the education funding bill to his office.

In a news release, Gov. Rauner says he intends to issue an amendatory veto once the bill reaches his desk, making changes that he says will result in higher state funding for nearly all school districts in Illinois.  Gov. Rauner also says he intends to remove what he calls a "bailout of Chicago's broken teacher pension system," and instead provide those funds to school districts throughout the state.

Governor Rauner's office also provided a chart in the release that shows the changes in funding he wishes to make as part of the amendatory veto.  The chart can be viewed by clicking here.

"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," said Gov. Rauner.

Governor Rauner says Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton are holding the bill until the last minute in order to force him to sign it. 

"Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton are going to quietly wait until right before schools need their money then spring it on all of us. It's a trap. That's what they are going to do." he said.

However, Democratic Governors Association Illinois Communication Director Sam Salustro says, "Today Bruce Rauner put his reelection campaign ahead of Illinois’ students," and that "Instead of working with legislators to find a compromise, Rauner pitted one part of the state against the other for political points."

Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, the Senate Sponsor of SB1, also responded to the Governor's demands.

“Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras." he said. 

Also adding that the Governor has never reached out to him to discuss the bill.

“Gov. Rauner has never contacted me directly regarding his alleged problems with Senate Bill 1. It is clear to me today that he intends to use the children of Illinois as leverage for his political agenda when he could be working out a compromise to accomplish a much-needed and long-awaited reform. I am saddened and discouraged by his display today.” he said. 

If an evidence-based school funding formula is not in place by the time schools open in just 4 weeks, schools will not receive funding. 

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