ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, joined by local school superintendents and education advocates in Illinois detailed the devastating effects that Gov. Rauner’s veto of education funding would have on education in Illinois, including the loss of funding for schools in Rock Island County.
“For the first time in two decades, legislators and education advocates have come together on legislation that provides every student the chance at a fair, equal education,” Halpin said. “Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1 destroys our path toward equality by taking away money from school districts that are already struggling and removing any promise of higher funding for our schools.”
Senate Bill 1, which creates an equitable school funding plan, would have fixed the state’s broken education funding system, and ensured that every school in Illinois saw increased funding. Despite his agreement with 90 percent of the legislation, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto of the legislation.
“The amendatory veto would have damaging effects on schools in Illinois, including our school district,” said East Moline Superintendent Kristin Humphries. “Under the veto, school districts across Illinois would face operating with less amounts of money, which not only puts schools in a bad position, but also our students.”
Rauner’s introduced changes to Senate Bill 1 would punish schools for enrollment declines, thwart local economic development efforts and bar school districts from claiming voter-approved tax cap adjustments. These provisions unfairly harm downstate Illinois’ least-funded schools the most, including many here in central Illinois.
“The governor’s proposal not only puts a stop to our progress towards much needed education reform, but also blows a whole in the balanced budget passed in July,” Halpin said. “Governor Rauner’s plan creates $221 million more in spending without any plan for how to pay for it while shifting more of the cost burden onto local governments. The governor’s veto also removes protections that schools districts would continue to receive more money, which would result in funding losses for already struggling districts.”