Schools will finally be receiving long-awaited funding from a new school funding formula that will increase funding in many districts. The Illinois State Board of Education announced $395 million will be distributed based on the new formula.
The funding was a hotly contested issue in Springfield, where Governor Bruce Rauner had the legislature override his veto of the initial bill that created the reforms. The Senate voted to override the veto and when the House voted on a separate bill comprised solely of Governor Rauner’s proposal for school funding, it failed to garner even a single vote in the House. Rauner also vetoed a later bill required to institute the reforms, though ultimately a compromise was found.
“Illinois schools have been waiting a long time — including through the governor’s obstructionist vetoes — and I am thrilled the day has finally come for more equitable funding,” Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who is responsible for issuing the payments, said. “My office has been planning for these payments, and they will be made on time.”
Rauner’s primary opponent used the issue against Rauner, who said he was lying about his s position on the school funding bill passed this fall. “Basically, you’re lying to people about you’re going to change education policy,” Republican State Rep. Jeanne Ives said.
Earlier this year when the Governor attempted to take credit for the development, another member of his own party, Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, gave the credit to legislative negotiations.
“You know, I want to commend [Rauner] for saying: Get a deal,” she said. “And I think that was the charge of the governor’s office…but I think that these negotiations really took place in the legislature,” she said, commending the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate.