Moment of truth approaches for IL school funding plan; House convenes today

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Republican governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill on Friday. The governor says state agencies and other entities have been alerted in case they're called on to provide help.

"Taxpayer dollars should be invested in our public school classrooms, plain and simple", Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said. A school funding bill was passed by the State Senate and House of Representatives over the summer, but it was vetoed by Rauner.

The Illinois House is expected to get the first look Monday at a plan to fund the state's public schools that's been put together by bipartisan legislative leaders. "The governor's proposal gives the wealthy another break while robbing our public schools of students and dollars".

Few of the bill's details have been released, but it includes a tax credit to those who donate to private schools that will take away millions from public schools.

Students receiving the scholarships must have a total household income of less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $73,800 annually for a family of four.

Moment of truth approaches for IL school funding plan; House convenes today
Moment of truth approaches for IL school funding plan; House convenes today

Democratic leaders have declined to comment. In the new deal cut be both Republicans and Democrats, all districts will get more money from the state than in previous years. Both parties agree the 20-year-old calculation IL now uses is unfair, but they can't agree on an overhaul. Democrats said it closed huge disparities in per-student funding between wealthy and poor districts. Lawmakers say it provides Illinois' 800 school districts with equitable funding. An override requires a three-fifths majority. It's a strategy to help get the GOP's support needed for passage. The state has already missed two payments because the school funding bill has been caught up in the House. The deadline for the House to act on that legislation is Tuesday.

The bill also reportedly contains more money for Chicago schools which Republicans consider a "bailout" but will apparently agree to in a compromise plan.

In the meantime, over 800 school districts are in limbo.

The new bill is SB1947.

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