Parents, lawmakers urge support of education funding reform

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WAND)- Days before the Illinois Senate is due back in session for a likely override vote of Governor Rauner's amedatory veto of Senate Bill One, supporters of the education funding reform bill gathered to show their support. 

A group of around twenty people gathered to show their support of an override of Governor Rauner's amendatory veto while decrying his action. 

"I can't even believe that a governor who says he cares about us, he says that he cares about you. A stroke of the pen is all that's between funding our schools fairly, and kick these kids to the curb. We will fight to the death to pass Senate Bill One." said Representative Sue Scherer ,D-Decatur. 

Local supporters of the measure were critical of the governor's action after announcing his amendatory veto. 

"The governor's veto of Senate Bill One is a slap in the face of downstate families. He's publicly trying to pit regions of the state against each other, but his amendatory veto actually hurts all of us." said Sarah Beth Payne, a Ball Chatham School District parent. 

"It was bad enough two years ago when my son lost services through The Autism Program because the governor decided to cut its funds on World Autism Day. But now, his politically-motivated and ill-conceived retribution on all the children of Illinois is evidence of why members of the General Assembly need to once again put people before politics and override his amendatory veto of SB1." said Jill Friday, a parent. 

Supporters of the measure, also highlighted the inequity of the current school funding system. A system that can not be changed until lawmakers vote to override or accept Governor Rauner's amendatory veto. 

"Here right in my district, we can't afford a stapler. And in other districts they are arguing over lanes in a pool versus a new pool, and the governor has the audacity to veto that bill. How dare he do such a thing!" said an impassioned Rep. Scherer. 

"What kids don't know is the injustice that is embedded into the system that stacks the deck against them on the day that they walk into kindergarten in the State of Illinois. There is no other state where that deck is stacked as high and as steep as in Illinois." said Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill. 

Senator Andy Manar also promised  that the Senate would not take  the governor's amendatory veto as is, on Sunday. But he has yet to file a motion to override the governor's veto, in hopes that they could reach a compromise with the other side by then. 

"This is about children, this is about opportunity, this is about equity, this is about equality. This is about giving our kids, my three children, every that they need to compete in today's economy." said Senator Manar. 

Schools are unable to receive funding from the state until an evidence based school funding  formula is in place. Schools were set to receive their first General State Aid payment on August 10. Comptroller Susana Mendoza sent out $429 million in Mandated Categorical grants to help provide some funds to school districts in the state. Those categorical payments cover transportation, special education and other costs. 

The Senate is back in session Sunday, August 13. 

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