Chicago area mayors press for override on school funding, Rauner responds to controversial cartoon

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CHICAGO -- Illinois Democrats are still trying to pressure Republicans to break ranks and override Governor Rauner’s changes to school funding. On Wednesday, there were more camera-ready events with people who back the bill.

Mayor Emanuel and other Chicago area mayors expressed support for Senate Bill 1, the school funding measure.

“Perfect should not be the enemy of the good. We support SB1,” said Robert Nunamaker, Mayor Village of Fox River Grove.

“This measure is a giant step forward in terms of trying to establish some equity,” said John A. Ostenburg, Mayor Park Forest.

In his comments, Mayor Emanuel slammed Governor Rauner for his amendatory veto. He said, “You’re the governor of Illinois and you’ve decided that the best political argument for you is to pit a child of Chicago against a child of any one of these cities.”


As Emanuel made his pitch, he turned to a controversial cartoon by the Illinois Policy Institute depicting a black child begging for school money from a cigar-smoking white man.

“I think it’s unfortunate the governor did not see what everybody else can see,” Emanuel said. ‘And then felt that he couldn’t raise his voice because his entire leadership of his administration inside the governor’s office is staffed from people from a very far right wing think tank that’s out of the mainstream.”

Critics call the cartoon racist.

But Governor Rauner’s office said yesterday that some black people told them they did not find the cartoon offensive. A Rauner spokeswoman said, "The governor – as a white male – does not have anything more to add to the discussion.”

Later, after taking heavy fire for those comments, the governor released a statement, saying his office’s remarks did not accurately reflect his views. But Rauner stopped short of criticizing the cartoon.

The governor did not address the drawing today instead he focused on school funding in this reelection commercial.

The Springfield leaders continue negotiating SB1 with a meeting set for tomorrow in Chicago. Yesterday, they had a five hour discussion that House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called “productive.” “We are making progress,” he said.

As the politics play out, schools across Illinois are having to make due without state money. Now, some districts are warning that they can start the school year without their state checks but they can’t finish it.

The Illinois Policy Institute’s CEO John Tillman is addressing the cartoon. In a statement to WGN News he said: “Rahm Emanuel…is trying to divert attention away from his structurally racist policies such as TIF, which siphons money away from black and brown kids toward rich developers."

The Policy Institute is trying to say their point is politicians are hiding money from black kids.