Illinois governor’s veto could jeopardize school funding

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the school funding bill Wednesday claiming it gives too much money to Chicago.

Now it's up to lawmakers to either approve the governor's changes, override his veto or start over.

Both the governor and Democratic leaders believe they have a chance to make history when it comes to finding a fair school funding formula.  But as history has shown, they can't agree on how - despite a weekend marathon negotiating session.

“We would rather not go down the path of veto showdown.  We would rather continue the discussions that we started on Saturday,” one lawmaker said.

But that's the path the state is on.

“Lots of talk about coming together but no real action.  And our kids deserve better,” the governor said.

Governor Rauner used his amendatory veto power to cut out millions of dollars aimed at helping cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools and distribute the money to other districts in the state.

The bill now heads back to the general assembly where three-fifths vote will be needed to override the governor or accept his changes.

Lawmakers have until August 10 to get money to districts so they can make their first payments.

“I’m calling on them right now to pass a bill that has my changes and  fair funding so schools can open up on time,” the governor said.

The Illinois Association of School Administrators said a handful of schools won't open on time, making the real question how long without state money can schools stay open.

The IASA said some can last a few weeks using reserve funds while most can stay open a few months.  Others may be able to make it the whole year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement saying in part:

“It is well past time for Governor Rauner to stop playing politics with our children's futures, start demonstrating leadership and ensure a child’s education isn't determined by their zip code or his political whims. The governor responded saying his changes endure an equal funding formal for the entire state.”

“There's an attitude that Chicago is the only community that has low income children. This is false,” the governor said.


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