UPDATE to the below weekly ed update: On Sunday, August 13, the IL Senate voted to override Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of SB1, 38-19. The IL House will be in session on Wednesday, August 16. Please use the following methods listed below to stay in touch with us...
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Update on school funding battle in Springfield
The state missed its first payment to school districts yesterday as no resolution has been found on the school funding front. The Senate will be back in session this Sunday, and they will likely vote to override the Governor’s veto of SB1. The Governor’s AV (amendatory veto) is not gaining much ground and even one of his biggest fans, Kristen McQueary of the Tribune, has publicly come out against the Governor’s AV.
It’s unlikely, but still unknown if the House has enough votes to override the SB1 veto, and there has been lots of press coverage of a compromise bill in the works that includes school vouchers. The House will be back in session on Wednesday.
RYH Action joined with other community orgs yesterday to urge our legislators to override SB1 and keep vouchers out of IL. Vouchers will drain public schools of money and have no place in a bill about school funding equity.
RYH Action: Facebook live broadcast of rally
How does this all impact CPS budgets?
CPS included the $300M from SB1 in their budgeting for schools, so the layoffs that just occurred were not based on anything that happened in Springfield over the past few weeks. CPS is still hoping that this amount will come through, or they will have to either make more cuts or come up with local revenue. RYH has been saying for years: we need more revenue from both the state and city to fully fund our schools.
Today CPS confirmed it’s counting on additional city funds, to the tune of almost $270 million dollars. In addition, they are expecting $22M from TIF funds. Between the city and state that makes a more than half-billion dollar hole in the budget that would need to be filled if the SB1 veto isn’t overridden. CPS and city officials haven’t indicated where these additional dollars would come from. Suffice it to say, in the absence of either of these sets of funds, Chicago schools would be looking at yet another devastating round of cuts.
What can you do?
Send a letter to your state legislators about SB1 and keeping vouchers out of IL. Please share it with neighbors and friends who value thriving public schools as well. Follow up with a phone call.
Call your alderman and ask them what they’re doing to ensure sufficient local revenue for schools.