SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —Gov. Bruce Rauner has summoned lawmakers into special session to settle the public education funding issue weeks before the school bell is set to ring.
The Republican ordered the House of Representatives and Senate to report to Springfield Wednesday. This was after the Senate missed a noon deadline to send him a school-finance plan legislators approved in May.
Starting in a month, more than two million children in 852 school districts across the state are scheduled to return for the 2017-2018 school year.
State Senator Bill Brady said what's going on now is embarrassing.
“This is the time of year when parents should be buying backpacks and supplies instead of worrying whether the schools will be open for their children,” he said.
The governor accused the Democrats of manufacturing a school funding crisis.
“It was hijacked at the last minute by the majority in Springfield and a poison pill was inserted to force payments to a pension system that's broken,” he said.
Democrats said the governor approves of 90 percent of the bill -- almost unheard of in politics. The holdup is the part of the bill that gives millions to Chicago for teachers’ pensions. Even though the education bill more evenly distributes money to districts throughout the state so that poor and wealthy schools get the same amount of money, Rauner said it's just a bail out for the city.
“I would advocate that he take this opportunity. If you agree with 90 percent, sign it into law,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Major newspapers across the state along with educators and superintendents support SB 1.
Governor Rauner said he wants lawmakers to look at a Republican backed bill when they head back to Springfield on Wednesday.
That bill did not have bi-partisan support.
Read more about SB1 here .