School funding showdown looming


Springfield, Ill (WAND) – A big showdown Sunday as the legislature tries to figure out a way to put a new school funding formula into place.

As school bell's get ready to ring, the Democratic-controlled Illinois Legislature is grappling with a Republican governor over how to fix the biggest gap in the U.S. between a state's richest schools and its poorest.

The Senate convenes Sunday. Democrats say they'll attempt to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a school finance measure that is holding up state payments.

Rauner complains that the revamped funding formula is too generous to the heavily Democratic city of Chicago and doesn't allow the state enough future funding flexibility.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a Springfield think tank, supports Rauner’s position.

“They politicized the education fund formula and now we have a mess,” stated Ted Dabrowski of Illinois Policy.  “It calls for $3.5 billion to $6 billion more over the next decade in funding and that means higher taxes.  We just passed a $5 billion tax hike.”

The Senate needs 36 votes to override the amendatory veto. The legislation was approved with only 35.

Democratic Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is the legislation's (SB 1) sponsor. He predicted an override vote. But he says attempts at compromise with Rauner continue.

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