Home Illinois News One Republican joins Senate Dems to override Rauner’s school funding veto

One Republican joins Senate Dems to override Rauner’s school funding veto

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SPRINGFIELD – Only one Republican member of the Illinois Senate voted to override Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of SB 1 – this year's school funding bill: State Senator Sam McCann of downstate Jacksonville. 

“Our current school funding formula is broken. If it we don’t replace it with an evidence-based model, our schools will lose out on the majority of their state funding," McCann said in a statement after his vote with the Democrat majority.

Rauner had argued that a $250 million bailout of Chicago Public Schools' faltering teacher pension system was unfair to other districts throughout the state. 

McCann didn't mention Rauner's objections to Chicago getting so much of the available funding in his statement. Schools opening on time this year was more of a concern to him.

"I can’t in good conscience vote against funding our schools, without a real, viable backup plan in place. I would encourage the continuation of negotiations on a better, bipartisan solution, but we have to move forward as best we can so all of our schools will open on time, and stay open through the full school year.”

McCann did not mention whether his district's schools would lose or gain funding under SB 1, but McCann's caucus colleague State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora) explained his vote to uphold the governor's veto by saying his district's schools would suffer.

“Batavia, Community High School District 94, West Chicago, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano. All the schools I represent receive less new funding under what the Democrats passed compared to the Governor’s amended version of Senate Bill 1," Oberweis said.

“All those school districts and school districts across the state are all taken advantage of under Senate Bill 1 with crucial dollars that should be going to them, instead going to bailout Chicago Public Schools. That is the opposite of fairness and equity," he said. “These partisan games have to stop. Let’s sit down and solve this problem together. This go-it-alone approach from the Democrats is not the right approach.”

After the vote Sunday afternoon in the specially-called session at the Capitol, State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-O'Fallon) said the funding is not fair. "…Bottom line is SB1 gives steak to kids in Chicago and my kids downstate get hotdogs."

McCarter provided these example from his district: "Germantown gets $6,769 per student. Chicago Schools get $15,378. A difference of $8,609. SB1 gives Germantown $75!!! I will not bail out Chicago on the backs of the children and parents of downstate Illinois."

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has called state reps to Springfield Wednesday to side with either Governor Rauner or the Illinois Senate. 

 

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