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September 26, 2017

8/23/2017 1:41:00 PM
Update on State Funding for Education
By Larry Gavin

On July 31, the Illinois legislature sent Senate Bill 1 to Governor Bruce Rauner. If enacted, the bill would have changed the way the State funds education to what is called an “evidence based funding model.”

As promised, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto on Aug. 1. On Aug. 13, the Illinois Senate voted, 38-19, to override the veto. The Illinois House was expected to vote on whether or not to override the veto on ­­­­­Aug. 23, but on Tuesday evening, Aug. 22, House Speaker Michael Madigan cancelled plans for State representatives to return to Springfield to vote on an override. People suspect that Speaker Madigan lacked the 71 votes needed to override the veto.

Speaker Madigan said there was progress made during negotiations with leaders of the House, adding, “I am hopeful we can finish our negotiations shortly to ensure schools around the State can receive the money needed to operate schools throughout this school year.”

House leaders are scheduled to continue negotiations today in Chicago. Speaker Madigan said he would hold an override vote next week if no agreement is reached. If legislation is not passed that incorporates an “evidence based funding formula” or which amends provisions barring payments to school districts unless an evidence based funding formula is enacted, the State will be unable to make State Aid payments to school districts.

Under SB 1, District 65’s base minimum funding from the State would be about $7.6 million, and District 202’s base minimum funding would be about $2.8 million, each slightly more than last school year.

According to ISBE’s calculations, District 65 and 202 would each receive slightly more in State Aid under Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto, at least in the first year.

Superintendents Paul Goren (District 65) and Eric Witherspoon (District 202) have said that District 65 schools and Evanston Township High School will open on time, whether or not the State legislature resolves State funding.

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