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  • manar stmt 072817 2SPRINGFIELD–State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement calling on the governor to personally join school funding talks and bring with him his secret revisions to a historic school funding plan. His comments are in response to the governor’s statement today that there should be negotiations among lawmakers on how to change the school funding plan:

    “Lawmakers have been negotiating. This proposal reflects compromise. That’s how we got this far. That’s how the governor got 90 percent of what he wants. I’m happy to participate in new discussions, but what we need is the governor to personally participate and show everyone what it is that he now demands.

    “We’ve worked with his administration to assemble this historic proposal, but I’ve yet to work directly with him. That’s why we’ve been trying to get a meeting with the governor to make sure he understands what this legislation does, the opportunity he has and what an amendatory veto likely means.

    “As sponsor of the legislation, I am asking the governor to personally participate in these negotiations. It’s time that he step out of the shadows with the proposal he wants, roll up his sleeves and work with us.

    “A veto from the governor only protects the status quo. The status quo is unacceptable. One way or another, we are going to deliver change.

    “If the governor does not come forward to show and explain his threatened veto, I will have little choice but to file an override motion as soon as that veto arrives in the Senate.”

  • jjc 050417 trust2SPRINGFIELD – The best way to help schoolchildren is for Gov. Rauner to agree to sign a landmark overhaul of how Illinois funds public education, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.

    Cullerton renewed his request for Rauner to indicate his support for Senate Bill 1 and cautioned him against using his veto powers to rewrite the plan, which would jeopardize its future. Cullerton noted that an amendatory veto does not automatically become law and instead sets up a showdown with lawmakers on an override vote.

    Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton:

    “All the governor needs to do is tell us he will sign his name. The fastest way to help the children is to sign this historic education reform into law.

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  • koehler 053017PEORIA – Governor Bruce Rauner has once again called for a special session of the Illinois General Assembly. The governor has said he will veto a school funding reform measure supported by over one hundred school superintendents and dozens of school districts.

    State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) issued the following statement:

    “Governor Rauner has demonstrated once again that he favors campaigning over governing. Rather than focusing on how he could work constructively with the General Assembly, he calls Blagojevich-style special sessions that only waste taxpayers’ dollars.

    “I am calling on the governor to sign a bill that his own administration says he supports 90% of. It is time to stop pitting one part of the state against the other for political purposes.” 

  • lightford 052617CHICAGO- Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) reacted to comments Governor Bruce Rauner made today claiming that every child from a disadvantaged circumstance can receive a better education under his yet-to-be revealed plan:

    “The governor claims he is treating Austin, Englewood and Lawndale the same as Cicero, North Chicago and Rockford in his secret plan. While the details of his plan are unclear, one thing is certain, he wants to take money from Chicago’s children to make his plan more appealing and pit poor communities against each other. And that is wrong.

    “I have worked on fixing our education funding formula my entire career, and refuse to let any child get shortchanged on a quality education solely to appease the governor.

    “Senate Bill 1 has a hold harmless provision for all school districts because we refuse to give any school less, it funds schools based on need and ensures high poverty districts get the support they desperately need.”

  • link 020217SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) issued the following response to the governor’s press conference today regarding school funding reform:

    “If Gov. Rauner really cares about the students, teachers and parents in Waukegan, then he will sign Senate Bill 1 as soon as it reaches his desk. Under the new evidence-based formula, Waukegan School District would receive $14.5 million more in funding.

    Waukegan School District would receive $919 more per student under Senate Bill 1. That makes it one of 268 school districts across Illinois to actually get more money than Chicago Public Schools, a fact the governor fails to mention.

    The children of Waukegan are not political talking points, governor. Sign the bill.”

  • manar 042617SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement on Gov. Rauner’s call for a special session:

    “Calling a special session to address school funding reform is a wasteful gimmick the governor is using to distract from the real issue. The real issue is that the governor refuses to reveal what alleged problems he has with Senate Bill 1 and will not negotiate in good faith.

    “Rather than waste taxpayer dollars on an expensive special session, the governor should meet with the leaders to hammer out an agreement.

    “The governor is essentially asking the legislature to buy a house without inspecting it. We need to know the details of the governor’s amendatory veto so that we can address his concerns in a responsible manner.

    “It’s time for the governor to stop campaigning and come forward with his plan. He owes it to the students of Illinois.”

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  • stadelman050417SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the statement below urging Gov. Rauner to support Senate Bill 1.

    “There is a lot of rhetoric being spread about the school funding reform measure that will soon reach the governor’s desk, but my support for it is simple: it will bring $5 million to Rockford schools.

    Our education funding system in Illinois is broken. This plan is the result of years of negotiations and work. Don’t’ be fooled by comments that it is a ‘Chicago bailout.’ This evidence-based formula will provide millions in funding to the state’s neediest districts, like Rockford Public Schools, and like the 268 districts that will receive more funding than Chicago Public Schools.

    The only reason this legislation is not already on the governor’s desk is because he has threatened to veto it before even getting a chance to read it. Let’s hope these weeks of discussion have allowed cooler heads to prevail. This is a win for Rockford. I would urge the governor to support this much-needed reform.”

  • stock presserSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s media event in central Illinois today:

    “Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras.

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  • reportcardSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the unveiling of a new school funding formula this morning:

    “The spring legislative session ended more than three weeks ago. Senator Barickman missed the deadline,” Manar said. “If his latest proposal was a final project, he’d earn an F because not only did he turn it in late, he showed up looking for his teacher after everyone had gone home and the school doors were locked for the summer.”

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  • link 022817 314SPRINGFIELD- The latest school funding reform numbers show that a fake news group linked to Gov. Bruce Rauner was indeed pedaling misinformation regarding public school funding in Illinois in the weeks leading up to approval of a historic education finance overhaul.

    An analysis only recently made public by Rauner’s education agency shows that no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the plan lawmakers recently approved. In fact, schools in the 30th District are estimated to gain $17,109,571 in state funding under the Senate’s plan. Some examples include:

    • Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 — $14.60 million
    • Hawthorn CC School District 73 — $125,388

    Supporters had said holding the line on funding was key to getting support for the overhaul that does away with the current, antiquated funding system and instead targets new state dollars to schools facing the toughest economic and educational challenges.

    “A solid education could be the launching pad that allows  a child to achieve their dream,” State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) said.

    The new plan seeks to maintain funding for schools that are doing well while bringing up those that are struggling. It’s a reform more than two decades in the works and one that still faces major political obstacles.

    Gov. Rauner was already threatening to veto the historic education overhaul even before lawmakers had given it final approval. As a result, the Senate is delaying sending the paperwork to the governor’s desk in hope cooler heads will prevail and the governor will recognize he’s getting a win on a key policy he’s wanted.

    Rauner promised to change the school funding system and put his hand-picked education secretary in charge of an elite taskforce. But that taskforce failed to deliver an actual plan. Lawmakers stepped in to finish the job of not just drafting the plan, but then approving it.

    In the midst of this work, a fake news network began spreading erroneous numbers, saying schools across the state were going to lose money. These numbers appeared on fake news sites such as the Lake County Gazette. 

    It was later revealed that the so-called latest numbers were actually pulled out of a different plan from more than a year ago. For whatever reason, Rauner and his education secretary did nothing to warn public school administrators and the taxpaying public of the misinformation or to set the record straight on public school funding.

    Local school gains under SB 1. The approximateoverall gain that some area school districts would experience under SB1 based on proposed funding levels:

    • Adlai E Stevenson District 125- $5,029
    • Aptakisic-Tripp CC School District 102- $2,658
    • Gurnee School District 56- $64,492
    • Hawthorn CC School District- $125,388
    • Kildeer Countryside CC School District 96- $3,661
    • Libertyville Community High School District 128- $4,214
    • Lincolnshire-Prairieview School District 103- $1,902
    • Mundelein Consolidated High School District 120- $57,826
    • Mundelein Elementary School District 75- $110,781
    • North Chicago School District 187- $2,141,524
    • Waukegan Community School District 60- $14,591,879

    To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • bush 040617SPRINGFIELD –The latest school funding reform numbers show that a fake news group backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner was indeed pedaling misinformation regarding public school funding in Illinois in the weeks leading up to approval of a historic education finance overhaul.

    “The State Board of Education’s analysis of Senate Bill 1 proves what proponents have been saying all along—no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the new formula,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “The Lake County Gazette – conservative political propaganda disguised as a newspaper, funded by hyper-partisan WIND talk show host Dan Proft – tried to mislead Illinoisans by using an analysis of a completely different school funding reform bill from last year and claiming that the numbers in that analysis were from Senate Bill 1.”

    An analysis only recently made public by Rauner’s education agency shows that no school districts in Illinois would lose money under the plan lawmakers recently approved. In fact, schools in the 31st District are estimated to gain $11,539,070 in state funding under the Senate’s plan. Supporters had said holding the line on funding was key to getting support for the overhaul that does away with the current, antiquated funding system and instead targets new state dollars to schools facing the toughest economic and educational challenges.

    “Republicans are going around the state pushing fake information and making up excuses because the truth is they voted against a bill that would help their local schools,” Bush said.

    The new plan seeks to maintain funding for schools that are doing well while increasing support for those that are struggling. It’s a reform more than two decades in the works and one that still faces major political obstacles.

    Gov. Rauner was already threatening to veto the historic education overhaul even before lawmakers had given it final approval. As a result, the Senate is delaying sending the paperwork to the governor’s desk in hope cooler heads will prevail and the governor will recognize he’s getting a win on a key policy he’s wanted.

    Rauner promised to change the school funding system and put his hand-picked education secretary in charge of an elite taskforce. But that taskforce failed to deliver an actual plan. Lawmakers stepped in to finish the job of not just drafting the plan, but then approving it.

    In the midst of this work, a fake news site began spreading erroneous numbers, saying schools across the state were going to lose money. These numbers appeared on political news sites such as the Lake County Gazette. 

    It was later revealed that the so-called latest numbers were actually pulled out of a different plan from more than a year ago. Unfortunately, Rauner and his education secretary never warned public school administrators and the taxpaying public to set the record straight on public school funding.

    “Dan Proft and the Lake County Gazette are attempting to misinform readers by pretending to be a real, objective newspaper and pushing fake news to unsuspecting readers,” Bush said. “The Lake County Gazette’s attempt to intentionally misinform Illinoisans is absolutely disgraceful. Illinoisans deserve to know the truth.”

  • clayborne05052017CM0335rSPRINGFIELD –High-poverty, downstate school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier school districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

    “The current funding formula puts many students in our communities at a tremendous disadvantage and has forced local school districts to hike up property tax rates. I am proud to join my colleagues to support additional funding for our schools and property tax relief for our communities,” said Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville).

    Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

    An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released estimates this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for area school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

    It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

    No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

    • Belle Valley School District 119 - $437,238
    • Belleville School District 118 - $1,401,597
    • Belleville Township High School District 201 - $1,941,563
    • Brooklyn Unit District 188 - $36,744
    • Cahokia Community Unit District 187 - $551,826
    • East St. Louis School District 189 - $1,357,558
    • Freeburg Community Consolidated School District 70 - $32,974
    • Freeburg Community High School District 77 - $47,618
    • Granite City Community Unit School District 9 - $2,333,657
    • Grant Community Consolidated School District 110- $29,708
    • Harmony EMGE School District 175 - $69,982
    • High Mount School District 116 - $209,352
    • Lebanon Community Unit School District 9 - $39,789
    • Madison Community Unit School District 12 - $107,926
    • Millstadt Community Consolidated School District 160 - $24,580
    • O’Fallon  Community Consolidated School District 90 - $164,969
    • O’Fallon Township High School District 203 - $375,419
    • Shiloh Village School District 85 - $46,946
    • Signal Hill School District 181 - $104,876
    • Smithton Community Consolidated School District 3 - $19,989
    • Whiteside School District 115 - $66,197
    • Wolf Branch School District 113 - $25,444

    In addition, under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated property tax relief for two area school districts:

    • Cahokia Community Unit School District 187 - $64,904
    • East St. Louis School District 189 - $79,425

    To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.