Senate Democrats voted last Sunday to override the governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1. Senate Republicans remain open to bipartisan negotiations on a new proposal that will deliver the necessary and equitable funding many school districts seek. Legislative leaders have plans to meet Friday, August 18 in what are hopefully the beginning of productive discussions on this critical issue.
Senate Bill 1 in its current form allocates millions of extra dollars to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), at the expense of every other school district. Senate Republicans believe that an evidence-based model (EBM) should treat all schools fairly, as well as create true parity. All 852 Illinois school districts should be treated the same, which is the definition of parity.
The state’s current budget contains a requirement that an evidence-based school funding model be enacted for much of the K-12 dollars to be distributed to schools. Senate Bill 1 contained an evidence-based model, but was vetoed by the Governor due to the hundreds of millions of dollars in special deals the legislation would give to Chicago. On Sunday, August 13, the Illinois Senate voted to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 by a mostly party-line vote. With the House not expected to pass an override motion, the legislation is likely dead.
Republicans remain committed to working toward true compromise, and stand ready each and every day to find a solution that will ensure Illinois schools are treated fairly and equitably, as well as remain open.