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Fun with numbers

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I call BS on Schrimpf. Per the Rauner email yesterday begging for money it took Bruce “all day” to crunch the numbers for the $422,000 ad buy request. How’d he recrunch all the Quinn numbers so fast?

  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    The numbers are sort of made up because we wouldn’t know exactly what the reduction in ISBE’s approp would be, but you can imagine it would be substantial. Schools are going to lose a boatload of money. There is no denying that. To do so is being completely ignorant.

  3. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Vallas is likely closer to the truth on this issue than the Rauner camp.State aid payments have been reduced by 5%, 11%, 11%, and 10% over the past four years. A decrease of $4.5 billion in funding will have a major impact. We also continue to see a reduction in mandated categorical like transportation costs. These are real numbers not magic beans. Unless Rauner buys the mint funding will be reduced dramatically.

    With regard to pension payments, recently I sat in on a presentation by Eric Madair, Cullerton’s cheif legal council and the Illinois Senate Parliamentarian. Based on a study he did his claim is that the pensions system (TRS) is better funded today, as a percentage of obligations, than it was in 1970 when the constitution was written. I thought that information was surprising.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Is this anything like the warnings of what would happen to education funding without a 1% “education surcharge”? It feels like we’ve seen this movie before, roughly 4 years ago.

    And does anyone have much confidence either of these gentlemen are going to do anything other than try to scare you about the other guy while failing to offer innovative plans of their own?

  5. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:28 pm:


    Come on. Even you know that a multi-billion dollar reduction in revenue is going to come with severe budgetary consequences. It’s scary because it’s true.

  6. - DuPage - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Rauner has little control over the tax without the legislature approving it. It will be interesting to see what happens if the tax is not extended.

  7. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Look - if Rauner wants to claim that the numbers are made up, and that he can actually increase funding to education while decreasing revenue, he should actually release a budget that would do this.

    I’d love to see the magic math he has to use to make it work.

  8. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:55 pm:


    If Rauner wins, rest assured the tax will NOT be extended. No way Quinn would even dream of helping Rauner during lame duck session. The legislature will want plenty (read all) GOP participation. That’ll give the Norquist wanna be’s a serious migrane.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    –He says Rauner will “fully fund our schools.”–

    Whoa, that sounds big, a real game-changer in how Illinois does business.

    Can Shrimp explain what Rauner means by that: “fully fund our schools?”

    How much will that cost? A ballpark figure will do.

    Where will that money come from? I’m guessing it will cost a lot to “fully fund our schools.”

    If you put that out there, surely you must have a plan to “fully fund our schools.”

    Or maybe Shrimp is just a cheap hack phoning it in, not even understanding what he’s saying.

  10. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    I like Vallas, but he assumes Rauner will have the same stagnant economic growth as Quinn. The entire point of Rauner is that he knows how to create business and make money. The guy has always made money. So Vallas assumes that for the first time in his life, Rauner will fail the economics as bad or worse than Quinn. I don’t see that happening.

    The crush on Rauner is he will be terrible for social issues, and hard on public sector unions. But assume he can’t do better with the economy than Quinn. Really?

  11. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    WORD When Shrimp promised “full funding,” I doubt he was talking about the official level set by EFAB as adequate funding. I predict he won’t define what he means.

    HOW It wouldn’t be the first time that IL legislators who took the Norquist pledge to never vote for any tax or fee hike broke their word. Most Republicans, for example, voted to fund the capital plan in 2009 and that required raising several small taxes and fees.

  12. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    @the Patriot:

    A phase out or elimination of the current tax rates is going to have a huge impact on the budget. Even if what you believe is true the revenue from “growth” isn’t going to make up for that loss anytime soon.

  13. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    @Patriot- making money for youyrself and a small group of investors is very different than growing jobs at the state level. There is also that pesky legislative process, (MJM aside) the state is not ruled by decree. It is a different ballgame when you want to make a change that is not supported by any one of the powerful special interest groups. Those waters are more difficult to navigate.

  14. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    ** he assumes Rauner will have the same stagnant economic growth as Quinn.**

    Have you even looked at Rauner’s growth assumptions? They are insane, and totally unreachable.

    **The entire point of Rauner is that he knows how to create business and make money. The guy has always made money.**

    There is a huge difference between making money as a hedge fund guy - essentially buying up assets, starving them for profit, then throwing the assets away - and growing a state’s economy.

    And Rauner’s budget proposals are a complete joke. They:
    a) don’t actually have workable or real numbers, and
    b) will require significant reductions in the state budget (harming the state economy), and
    c) claim to be able to increase funding in significant ways (increasing education funding, keeping SODCs open, etc) while cutting revenue.

    The economic growth simply cannot be big enough to make Rauner’s plan work.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    @Demoralized - it is scary and it is true. Neither “plan” is worth the paper it is printed on.

  16. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    The Rauner team will “fully fund our schools,” right about the time they “freeze your property taxes.”

    What is amazing to me is how all the local Republican mayors and park and school district officials around the state haven’t criticized Rauner over this.

    They must assume neither will ever happen.

  17. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    Well, technically if Rauner cuts school funding by 50% then ‘fully funds’ the remaining appropriation I guess he’s fufilling his promise of ‘fully funding’ schools.

  18. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===“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.”===

    Here, Montgomery goes a paragraph too far. Everything in this paragraph is wrong. When he says “we know…”, it highlights the arrogance that school parents are sick of. If the IFT would propose some real ’student=centric’ solutions instead of their constant drumbeat of false platitudes about their commitment- which isn’t evident to many school parents- they might arrive somewhere. If you’re not part of a solution, a solution will be handed down to you. They don’t get it. They’ve never gotten it. And whatever sympathy they’ve engendered has run out or at the very least is close to empty.

  19. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    Rauner can’t roll back the tax gradually. He will need to ask the legislature for a tax increase once the temporary tax expires as the legislature has intended. Anything over the 3% will be a Rauner/Republican tax hike.

  20. - Chris - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    “Even you know that a multi-billion dollar reduction in revenue is going to come with severe budgetary consequences”

    A multi-billion dollar INCREASE in revenue came with severe budgetary consequences for education under Quinn.

    And Quinn’s approved policy (he signed the GD budget) *right now* for a multi-billion dollar reduction in revenue. So will he zero out education?

    Every day, PQ’s campaign rhetoric takes me closer to hold my nose (really, really hard) and pulling the lever for Rauner.

  21. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 4:23 pm:


    Yeah, it did, because the increase was needed just for us to keep our heads above water and not to increase spending on education. We aren’t talking about zeroing out education, but we are talking about significant cuts. This isn’t campaign rhetoric. It’s reality. And those that can’t see it’s reality have no clue about math or the budget.

  22. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:22 pm:

    Chris, the budget Quinn signed didn’t reduce our state revenues, it reflected the decreased revenues that result from the GA’s refusal to extend the current tax rate, which Quinn didn’t sign (there was nothing to sign) and he opposed letting the current rate expire

  23. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 7:28 am:

    Paul Vallas is a smart guy.

    Who wrote his presentation?

    The public can usually only remember one number. Three tops.

    In my opinion, they buried the most important numbers.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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