Sen. Brady hopeful for school funding solution

No movement on 1st day of special session on school funding

During negotiations, Democratic Sen.

Illinois lawmakers were returning to Springfield on Monday for a showdown on money for public schools, as the Illinois Senate prepares to send the governor education funding legislation he has vowed to rewrite. When Illinois lawmakers reached a budget agreement weeks ago, funding for schools was tied to passing a new school funding plan.

Illinois' education funding formula was called one of the most inequitable in the nation in 2015 by The Education Trust, a nonprofit advocacy organization, saying too much money goes to wealthy districts.

When that happens, school districts across IL will be placed on a crisis footing, unsure of whether they will receive state aid payments that are supposed to be sent on August 10.

While the legislation was approved May 31, Democrats had put a procedural hold on the bill to keep it off the Republican governor's desk.

Those lawmakers met over the weekend and continued to talk behind closed doors Monday.




Democrats are still holding out hope that he will not automatically amendatory veto te bill, as he has promised to do.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington learned of Senate Bill 1's arrival while speaking Monday with WJBC's Sam Wood. Rauner has said he likes 90 percent of the bill, but he soon announced that he planned to use his veto power to amend certain parts of SB1.

It was unclear Monday afternoon if Cullerton still plans to send Rauner the plan, which aims to make funding more equitable between districts.

Funding remains an issue because the budget deal lawmakers approved stated that any money for K-12 education must be distributed through a new formula meant to reduce large disparities between districts. But he has repeatedly declined to specify what exactly he'll do.

With Democrats controlling the necessary three-fifths majority of 36 votes needed for an override in the Senate, the emphasis has been on rounding up override votes in the House, where there are only 67 Democrats - four short of the 71 needed for an override. If that attempted fails, the bill dies.

It's just the latest man-made crisis to hit Springfield, where lawmakers earlier this month voted to override Rauner's veto to end a state budget impasse that stretched into a third year, creating billions in debt and forcing some domestic violence shelters and other social service programs to shut down. The first payment to schools is due August 10.

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