DECATUR, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, issued the following statement on Gov. Rauner’s attempt to rewrite education funding reform legislation in order to benefit his wealthy school districts at the expense of Central Illinois students:
“Governor Rauner’s school funding plan removes any guarantee of fair funding for local schools, and instead returns to picking winners and losers. And it’s clear the winners will be his wealthy Chicago-area schools, and the losers will be downstate children, families and schools. As a former teacher, I know Illinois’ broken funding scheme all too well. The bill I helped put on the governor’s desk fixes this unfair formula, but the governor’s rewrites are even worse than the status quo. After three years, the governor’s plan starts taking money out of schools in areas that are already struggling, and funneling it to wealthy Chicago-area schools.
“On top of that, the governor’s plan uses sketchy math to punish communities like ours that are trying to create new economic development and job opportunities. If communities use TIF districts to create jobs like Decatur and Springfield do, they will lose state education dollars under the governor’s plan. This is unfairly forcing us to choose between investing in schools or investing in economic development.
“The governor said he would cut money for Chicago, but his changes keep sending our money to Chicago. In fact, his plans spends $221 million more overall. That’s money we don’t have, and spending that he has no plan to pay for.
“I will not stand for a school funding system that picks winners and losers. I care about the students of Illinois, and I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to enact real reform that is fair to all children and families.”