Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has one answer for parents who are worried about their children’s schools this year: Talk to House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The governor said June 7 at a stop in Bloomington, Ill., that he offered a plan to pay for schools, but Illinois House Democrats instead approved a $7 billion out-of-balance state budget.
Until there’s a budget, there won’t be money for schools. “There’s no solution, somehow magic money appears,” Rauner said. “There’s no way other than the General Assembly passes a school funding [plan]. There is no other alternative.”
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Rauner said if schools don’t open on schedule or have to end the school year early, parents should blame Democrats for holding up downstate school money to get more for Chicago schools.
“The money isn’t there to bail out Chicago,” Rauner said. “The money is there to make sure schools open.”
Most schools in Illinois say they can open in August. But few say they can make it till May without a state budget or some kind of state help.
The governor didn’t have a specific answer when asked whether parents should plan to see schools close or close early.
“Parents, our children, our teachers deserve so much better,” Rauner said. “They should never expect that and shouldn’t tolerate it.”