* Paul Vallas released a report today on what could happen to individual school district funding if the income tax hike is rolled back all at once…
He says if Rauner rolled back the income-tax increase, public schools would see a $4 billion-a-year loss in state revenue. That’s because the income tax increase brings in $8 billion a year and education makes up half of the discretionary part of the budget. […]
Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the numbers Vallas uses “are just made up.”
He says even though Quinn raised the tax 67 percent in 2011, he cut school spending by $500 million. He says Rauner will “fully fund our schools.”
OK, they’re both wrong. Rauner has recently said he’d gradually roll back the tax hike, not do it all at once. [ADDiNG: The release, which I didn’t get, acknowledged the roll back, but there likely will be some revenue gains over the years and other budget priorities could come into play, so to state categorically that it’s a $4 billion cut isn’t quite Kosher] And Schrimpf is obviously making up numbers because there’s no way Rauner can avoid cutting school funding if that tax hike is rolled back over four years. Unless, of course, he wants to start skipping pension payments again.
By the way, back in the day, George Ryan removed state pension payments from the definition of state school funding. That, in retrospect, was a big mistake. You can’t have schools without teachers, and you can’t have teachers without pensions. If you include pension funding, spending on education has, indeed, increased.
…Adding… From the IFT…
In response to an analysis of Bruce Rauner’s funding plan for education released by Governor Pat Quinn today, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery noted that Rauner’s approach completely ignores the most critical issue of school underfunding.
“Bruce Rauner’s so-called budget was not designed with students in mind,” said Dan Montgomery, President of the IFT and a high school English teacher for eighteen years. “Unsurprisingly, he claims to support working families, but his plan fails to address the fact that Illinois schools are some of the worst funded in the nation. Aside from his empty, feel-good TV commercials, he has no explanation or problem with blowing an $8-billion dollar hole in the state budget and forcing layoffs, larger class sizes, and devastating cuts to our public schools. Strong schools begin with strong investment, and Rauner’s proposals would decimate public education as we know it and force communities to raise property taxes just to keep the doors open.
“As educators, we know best what students need and parents want – high-quality neighborhood schools with libraries, support services, and experienced teachers who are fixtures in the communities they serve. The only candidate committed to these families is Governor Quinn.”