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Question of the day

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* News-Gazette

Rauner said revising the [K-12] funding formula “is a hard thing to do.

“I’m a moderately intelligent person and I’ve studied it and it’s hard to follow. It’s moving numbers and percentages and it’s a very complex thing. I think it’s broken. And I’m willing to work as hard as anybody to try to change it,” he said. “Speaker (Michael) Madigan has already said publicly that he really doesn’t want to tackle that himself. I’ll try. I’m wiling to do it if that’s what it takes to get a grand bargain done, I’ll do it.

“But what I’ve said is that if it takes longer than August to get it done, then let’s not hold up the rest of the budget and let’s not hold up school funding. What we can’t do is hold our kids and our teachers hostage in K-12 schools. That would be wrong.”

Um, Madigan has set up a bipartisan formula reform committee, so I’m not sure what the governor’s talking about.

* Sen. Andy Manar’s response

“I have advised the governor that he is making the same mistake as his predecessors,” Manar said. “He thinks we can spend our way out of this problem. We spend $12 billion today on schools and we have the least equitable system in America. We can spend $12 billion better, to drive better results and bridge the inequity gap.”

* The Question: Do you think the funding formula will be reformed before August? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


  1. - Huh? - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    “I’m a moderately intelligent person and I’ve studied it and it’s hard to follow. It’s moving numbers and percentages and it’s a very complex thing.”

    Isn’t that what your “superstars” were hired to figure out?

  2. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    No. It would be an extremely hard lift in a less divisive time. With today’s dysfunction and total lack of trust, there is no way.

    We’ll be lucky if we get a tiny band-aid done.

  3. - South of Sherman - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    I don’t think anything of substance will happen until November. Or 2019. Whichever comes first.

  4. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    This may be the pressure that is needed to get a budget. August will get here very quickly.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Not if the proposal involves taking money away from anyone else’s kids. Reducing funding at some schools to increase funding for others is a non-starter.
    They may be able to get this done in conjunction with a budget should they develop a plan that does not involve reducing funding to some students, but this looks unlikely before August.

  6. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    “It’s moving numbers and percentages and it’s a very complex thing.” It might take a math teacher to comprehend this.

  7. - Macbeth - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    This may be the first documented instance of Rauner actually attempting to *work* on something instead of touring doughnut shops, diners, and high school gyms.

    I can see Rauner’s Tweet now:

    “Great to work hard on school funding reform!”

  8. - BBG - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Doubtful … they can’t even agree on a “who called who” statement. To tackle those numbers and percentages would be extremely laborious even for the superstarts!

  9. - Gooner - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    No, of course not.
    There will not be any agreement on anything of substance until the next governor takes office.d

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    I sadly and reluctantly voted “No”


    the question remains if a budget can be hammered out, and while Legislators and Governors can juggle many things, do many things, have many pots simmering, this Administration only moves off the dime when their (Rauner’s) best interests are in peril.

    Rauner has yet to prove education as a really policy cornerstone is important enough to get off the dime.

    Note: Rauner wants a “clean” K-12 Approp, and Rauner’s inky care right now is schools, K-12 schools, open in the Fall.

    The policy to do it “better” isn’t the priority.

  11. - winners and losers - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    No. Manar keeps promising the impossible while saying false things about the current formulas.

    “Illinois is primed for an overhaul of its school-funding formula, one that treats Chicago Public Schools the same as school districts in central Illinois farm country; one that demands the same level of resources and results for students in the wealthy northern suburbs as it does for students in poverty-stricken Cairo at the southern tip of the state.”
    State Senator Andy Manar, Crains Chicago Business Op-Ed, March 22, 2016

    The same level of resources (let alone results) for students in the wealthy suburbs as in the poverty-stricken southern tip of the state?

    NO proposal from Manar comes even close to doing that.

    That would cost BILLIONS of dollars, and the Manar proposals have almost nothing to do with any judgment of results.

    Manar appears willing to say almost anything to
    sell his school funding change proposals.

    The above Manar quote is just as false as the earlier Manar statement to the Springfield State Journal Register that any new appropriations using the current school funding formulas are “a waste of money.”

  12. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    The only way but gets done by then is at gun point in a locked room or if it becomes part of a grand budget deal from a court ordered shutdown of the State. Even under those circumstances, they will have to grab an “off the shelf” proposal like Manar’s and fix the flaws later.

    Obviously I voted no.

  13. - MrGrassroots - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    === What we can’t do is hold our kids and our teachers hostage in K-12 schools. That would be wrong.” ===

    Did Rauner admit he is holding the budget “hostage”?

  14. - Ghost - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    there will not be any changes for 3 years

  15. - blue dog dem - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    I voted no. But, like higher ed, we are speding too much on K-12 as it is.

  16. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    No. Despite his words, Rauner wants the underfunding of lower income school districts to continue. That way his friends in the charter school industry can sweep in and privatize education in those districts.

  17. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:31 pm:

    Voted no. Needs more money to grease any funding change. No way that happens quickly.

  18. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    No. To me, equalizing funding throughout Illinois is a no-brainer. All of our children need educated, not just mine or the ones on my street. However, the Governor cares only about the Turnaround Agenda, which everyone ( including school aged children) is being held hostage for. If he wants to work hard…. Work on the budget.

  19. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    No, Rauner has yet to prove he can actually work with anyone. If it comes down to hostage trading, we’ll see what works out, but I still don’t see a budget before November.

  20. - A guy - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Before August? of 2016? No. Unfortunately no.

  21. - Diogenes in DuPage - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Voted no. Tempted to simply say that “pigs will fly first,” but my rationale: When a governor and legislature cannot not come to agreement on budgets and taxes, which are yearly decisions, there is no way a “once every twenty year” decision can be made, let alone in six months.

  22. - Simone - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Anyone remember “straight shooter” Dawn Clark Netsch? Remember how that worked out for her? I vote No. It’s an issue that has always been a resume enhancer for somebody’s political ambitions. And it’s good at creating Grinches. “I led the fight to reform school funding, but /insert name here/ stood in the way.” Everybody likes the “idea” of more money for their local schools, teachers and students. Do they want a big income tax increase to pay for it? Doubtful. They think everybody ELSE has the money to pay for THEIR schools to get more. Lower their property taxes and raise their income taxes and you’ll get the same disgruntled voters. If we need a 3-5% income tax hike to fix the budget (when it gets fixed), imagine what it will take to do school funding reform, to make sure everyone spends substantially MORE? This is all great hand wringing while we wait for the November 16 election results and to see how the Governor’s race sets up for ‘18.

  23. - Mouthy - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    No. The Governor isn’t about to see a clean K-12 bill without a budget deal for last year and next. This is something his beloved “taxpayers” will burn down his door about and he knows it. He’ll get desperate but he’s still gonna lose. Two can play at this game and he’s a rich novice…

  24. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    === What we can’t do is hold our kids and our teachers hostage in K-12 schools. That would be wrong.” ===

    So is not funding human services and higher ed. It’s my hope that the Dems put the entire budget in the bill with K-12.

  25. - Cassandra - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    It seems that most agree some areas need more funding, but the problem remains-who pays. And neither party is interested in taxing the wealthy more than a token amount.

    So to get enough money into low-income areas, they have to reduce state funding for middle class areas-once again,the weight falls on the middle class. And those middle class areas can’t afford it. Our taxes are already astronomical.

    Our political masters may do this anyway, but, not right before an election. So, not August.

  26. - DPGumby - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    nothing will be resolved as long as brucie is governor

  27. - Mouthy - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    =So is not funding human services and higher ed. It’s my hope that the Dems put the entire budget in the bill with K-12.=

    Nope. He can’t be trusted to not veto everything else but the K-12 funding. The budget(s) first then the K-12 approp. Dunkin ain’t going anywhere until January so an override is out of the question.

  28. - Ghost - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    Mouthy it would be ok if he did veto those lines…. then he woumd wear the hat for those

  29. - Ghost - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    what cmplicates the funding, in part, is the differing costs of living which vary widely in the state. buildings, repairs, salaries etc do not cost the same in all locations. Thats why they did the property tax version. in theory the collections would match the costs.

    But there are bigger issues then funding, such as the structure of education. Teachers unable to grade hoework or spend time with struggling kids etc. we need to redesign how we educate kids before we discuss funding. i have the plans rdy to go :) and it starts w/ year rnd school, 1.5 hr classes, and placing kids in classes sized around the students needs, not arbitray number like x kids per class.

  30. - walker - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    What RNUG said at 12:16

    It has to be part of, and covered in a much larger deal. No matter how you slice it, the school districts most likely to lose relative to others, are among the wealthiest and most politically powerful parts of the state. Ask Murphy and Radogno.

  31. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    No. The term “K-12″ funding implies an equity of money distribution among those grade levels. However, a major complication is that there are three types of school districts in Illinois—-elementary, high school and unit—- all of which have different rates and considerations per the calculation of state funds.

  32. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    === Nope. He can’t be trusted to not veto everything else but the K-12 funding. The budget(s) first then the K-12 approp. Dunkin ain’t going anywhere until January so an override is out of the question. ===

    Mouthy, I understand your point. It’s a matter of political positioning. Rauner would love to have Dems hold K-12 hostage. This is the item that would affect the most folks. He’d love to turn parent anger at having to deal with the kids at the Dems. On the other hand, the Dems can’t sit and do nothing for their constituency groups. While you’re probably right, Rauner’s veto of everything else would still highlight Rauner’s hostage taking.

    This has to be thought out with other strategies as well. Keep pushing the Higher Ed angle. Also, lawsuits regarding the payment of state worker’s salary without an appropriation need to be pushed.

    People are suffering out there and actions needed to be taken to overcome Rauner’s impasse.

  33. - Beaner - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    Rauner insisted that majorities of Democrats and Republicans in Illinois favor his package of reforms that includes term limits, changes to the way legislative district boundaries are drawn, more local control of government costs, and pension revisions.

    “Every reform I’m advocating, Democrats support,” he said.
    ~ Not so much.

  34. - burbanite - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    Who are the two people that said yes? I said no b/c Madigan! /s

  35. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    Since you don’t specify a year in which that August will fall Rich, I’ll provide a tentative YES /s

  36. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===Um, Madigan has set up a bipartisan formula reform committee, so I’m not sure what the governor’s talking about.===

    The governor is trying to say “See how willing to compromise, I am…” More meaningless spin from Rauner.

  37. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==It’s my hope that the Dems put the entire budget in the bill with K-12.==

    They did that last year and Rauner vetoed the budget then approved the K-12 funding he asked the ILGOP to vote against. There’s not a single person in the GA that can predict or trust Rauner on any budget deal, let alone education reform.

  38. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    I voted “yes.” K-12 seems to be the only thing he is desperate to not take hostage. If Democrats refuse to pass the funding without an overhaul, I think he’ll fold and claim victory on the issue.

    Mind you, my preferred strategy is that Democrats take a “no hostage left behind” approach on the budget: a full budget passes or nothing.

  39. - Annonin' - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    Might have worked if his SecOfEd wasn’t out meddlin’ with College of DuPage scandal
    what an odd development

  40. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    They can’t agree on simple things (who called who) yet expect an overhaul of a complex issue the Governor “thinks” is broken? By August? Those SuperStars would really have to step it up several notches.

  41. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    No. It’s absurd to think that you could accomplish anything of substance when the Superstars have fixed it so that the state can’t pay any bills at all.

    That’s the proverbial struggle with the one-car funeral.

    Even Blago managed to pay day-to-day bills.

  42. - Signal and Noise - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    I don’t know enough about the funding formula to intelligently comment. I do however know that our Governor can’t sneeze without shoe-horning in a cheap shot at Madigan. This is getting really pathetic.

  43. - Harry - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:21 pm:

    They can’t accomplish anything this year, why would I think the could reform the School Aid formula by August?

  44. - DuPage - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    No. Rauner wants CPS to crash and burn.

  45. - Chucktownian - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    This governor cannot even fulfill his basic constitutional responsibilities, much less some greater “good” thing.

    Blago was a better governor than this guy.

  46. - midwaygardens - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    August what year?

    These sides are locked in till 2018.

  47. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 3:14 pm:

    Anonin +1

  48. - Politix - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    Very amusing poll results. Not much hope to be found ’round here, is there?

  49. - Mama - Friday, Mar 25, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    If they put all of their heads together, a new formula can be done by August. First they have to agree on what is important in educating K-12 students (including special ed. students) & how much will it cost. What is the most important outcome they want to see from the reforms?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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