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Area parents call on lawmakers to override Governor’s veto on school funding

Sen. Andy Manar speaks about SB1

SPRINGFIELD — Local community leaders and legislators joined together today to highlight the damage to Illinois schools that Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 will bring into reality. The bill vetoed by Rauner would have fixed our state’s broken education funding system. Parents from schools across Sangamon County joined in calling on local legislators to support the Evidence-Based Model for Student Success Act (otherwise known as SB1) in veto override votes.

"Every child in Illinois deserves a high-quality education that gives them a fair shot at prosperity,” said Roy Williams Jr., Chair of the Education Task Force of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good. “Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto doesn’t fix the broken funding formula; it doubles down on a funding model that’s failing our kids. We need to begin mending our public education system, not tearing it down like the governor would with his amendatory veto."

Other participants at today’s event included:
• Amber Alexander, Springfield District 186 parent
• Sarah Beth Payne, Ball Chatham School District parent
• Jill Friday, Springfield District 186 parent
• State Senator Andy Manar
• State Representative Sue Scherer

“The amendatory veto language makes one thing clear: this isn’t about fixing the formula and improving educational outcomes for students across Illinois. This is about shifting the responsibility for public education funding to property taxpayers going forward,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D – Bunker Hill).

Senate Bill 1 represents the first time a school funding overhaul has passed both chambers of the legislature in 20 years. The Governor’s amendatory veto arrived as promised, even though his own administration has said the bill is 90% of what the governor wants in an education reform bill. The governor’s changes are also directly opposed to the findings made by a commission he created last year to study the issue. Under SB1, no district would lose a penny of state or local resources and new funds would be strategically invested toward the most underfunded schools. The enacted budget includes
$6.7 billion for evidence-based funding. However, without SB1 being enacted, the state has no evidence-based formula in place and, therefore, no authority to expend those funds.

“Schools in our district deserve nothing less than fair funding. Our schools need certainty and stability to keep their doors open and provide opportunities for our children,” said State Representative Sue Scherer (D – Decatur). “Today, schools are missing their first school funding formula payment for this year. Governor Rauner had the chance to fix the worst funding formula in the country. Instead, schools across the state are facing a funding crisis.”

“All kids, regardless of their zip code, deserve access to a high-quality education that prepares them for life. SB1 is good for Springfield Public Schools this year, and even more importantly, it puts all of our schools on a path to adequate and equitable funding for the future,” said Amber Alexander, the parent of two Springfield District 186 students. “The governor’s veto defeats the entire purpose of the evidence-based model that we’ve been working on for four years.”

“It was bad enough two years ago when my son lost services through The Autism Program because the governor decided to cut its funds on World Autism Day. But now, his politically-motivated and ill-conceived retribution on ALL the children of Illinois is evidence of why members of the General Assembly need to once again put people before politics – and override his amendatory veto of SB1,” added Iles Elementary School parent Jill Friday.

About SB1: The Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act (or SB1) that recently passed the General Assembly would fix our state’s unfair and inequitable school funding system. SB1 would bring a more equitable system that ensures all children receive the education they deserve.