Bruce Rauner

Education Funding Concerns Rise as Start of School Year Nears

As schools across the state prepare for what would normally be the start of a new school year, many are still uncertain if they’ll open in time as the state continues to battle over education funding.

State aid is typically delivered to districts by the end of this week, but with an impasse on school funding, that aid is not expected to arrive on time.

Lawmakers have yet to override or uphold Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1. With no funding formula approved, no checks are going out to any schools, even though the anticipated start of the school year is just weeks away.

In the midst of the schools crisis, Elgin U46 CEO Tony Sanders took to YouTube to speak on behalf of the state’s second-largest school district.

In the video, Sanders explained that his district would get $17 million annually under the bill passed by both the House and the Senate. That number would jump to $22 million under the governor’s amended version.

"One of the questions I get a lot is why I continue to support Senate Bill 1," Sanders said in the video. 

Despite getting less money, Sanders said he believes the bill in its original form is most fair for all schools.

With no movement on a funding plan, many districts, including Aurora, say they can’t operate without state funding.

Chicago Public Schools stand to lose the most money under the governor’s plan, which also removes the financially struggling district’s pension payments. While the district said it plans to open on time, it has also recently announced nearly 1,000 employee layoffs for the upcoming year.

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