Proposes record increase in state funding; ends proration Reaffirms commitment to finding solution to school funding formula
The Daily Herald reports why the Governor is fighting for an increase to state support for education.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday continued his push for school funding reform, telling students and faculty at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa they shouldn't suffer because Democrats are pushing for more money for Chicago Public Schools.'
"We cannot let the General Assembly hold up school funding, hold up our schools opening in the fall to get a Chicago schools bailout," he said…
"Even though we're the last state in America for state support, the Democrats have cut school general state aid four times the last 10 years. That's unfair. That's wrong," he said…
"We can argue about the state budget, we can argue about the fact the Democrats want to spend $37 billion while we only take in a little over $32 billion. We can argue about that. But we bring in $32 billon and the first place that money should go is to support our teachers and our schools and make sure our schools open on time. Nothing is more important than that," Rauner said.
He said a bill has been introduced to fund schools separately so schools can be funded at 100 percent of the per-student "foundation level," which hasn't been the situation for seven years. Funding less than 100 percent is known as proration, he continued, and "disproportionally hurts low income districts and more rural districts."
"I don't want any more proration," Rauner added. "Go to the foundation level this year and then next year go beyond the foundation level."
The following excerpt from an ABC 7 news story explains why we must make school funding a priority:
CHARLES: After touring the west suburban Lyons Township High School, the governor said Springfield lawmakers should focus on increasing state aid to schools and that democrats should drop their demand for an immediate change in the way Illinois funds education.
GOV. RAUNER: That's wrong. Our schools shouldn't be held hostage. We have to put more money into schools while we continue to work on a bipartisan basis to come up with a school funding formula change.
CHARLES: The State Senate will consider a bill to phase in a new funding formula so that four districts receive a larger share of state aid than wealthier districts. Minority Leader Jim Durkin, who represents Lyons Township, says no district should lose money.
LEADER DURKIN: We're not going to penalize a school who has been prudent with their finances and have done a good job with taxpayers money.