Rauner Bullies, Illinois Schools To Open Without State Funding

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a school funding bill that would not only fund schools for the upcoming school year, but was also aimed to re-work a school funding formula that is considered the most inequitable in the country. In fact, the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board said the bill is “a historic chance to reform education funding, easing decades of financial inequities between rich and poor school districts.”

So Rauner could have signed it, assuring that Illinois schools would be funded for the entire year that begins in a matter of weeks.

But we all know that Governor Rauner doesn’t compromise… with anyone. It’s why he vetoed the budget again this year, putting Illinois at the brink of becoming the only state with a “junk bond” rating. And it’s why the state comptroller compared him to a “check-bouncer.” And, of course, Rauner’s entire argument in vetoing this bill – that it is a bailout for Chicago public schools – was rated false by Politifact Illinois.

So what does Rauner’s veto mean?

  • Rauner’s veto leaves the legislature in a near-impossible position. They now need a three-fifths vote in both chambers to override Rauner’s changes or veto them. If neither happens, the legislation, in effect, dies.

  • Leaves Illinois Schools to open in a matter of weeks with no assurances of any state funding. Many Illinois schools said they’d only be able to last a few months, putting kids behind in their education and leaving parents with no place to turn.

American Bridge spokesperson Lizzy Price made the following statement:

“Governor Rauner is a bully; he’s picked a political fight that could stunt the education of children and leave their parents with nowhere to turn instead of compromising and doing what’s best for everyone. Putting politics over children is not leadership; it’s just as vile as a schoolyard fight, but with even harsher consequences.”