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Schools continue freak-out over impasse

Monday, Apr 25, 2016

* You may not like Senate President John Cullerton’s idea to withhold school funding until school funding reform is completed, but it’s most definitely putting pressure on legislators to end the impasse

HARRISBURG — The economic hard times that have hit this Illinois coal town are particularly visible inside its 113-year-old high school, where cracks in the walls and holes in the ceiling go unfixed and paint is peeling off the purple lockers lining the hallways.

But lately a greater worry is weighing on Superintendent Mike Gauch: that he’ll have to close the doors. He’s among scores of school officials who face this prospect as Illinois lawmakers’ epic fight over a state budget threatens to spill into summer and jeopardize the education of several hundred thousand students.

Unthinkable even a few months ago, the possibility of the impasse extending to a second year and shutting down school systems has grown stronger in recent weeks. If it happens, it would be the most traumatic consequence of a fight between the state’s Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, and Democrats who run the legislature, and mark a new low for political dysfunction in the nation’s fifth-largest state.

“It scares me to death,” says Gauch, who estimates that without state funds his district of about 2,100 students could remain open until November or December, at best. Other superintendents say their schools won’t make it that long. […]

“Had I not seen that with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it either,” said Jeff Fritchtnitch, superintendent in the Altamont school district. “For the first time in 30 years (in education), I think this can happen.”

What we’ve seen since June will pale in comparison to what we’ll see if K-12 schools aren’t funded.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Actuary - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    Pensions are more important than classrooms…move along nothing to see new

  2. - Coach - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    I hope the Senator holds the funding until the school reform is complete. I’m tired of the band aid approaches instead of fixing the problem entirely!

  3. - Earnest - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    I’m less interested in the funding formula than in making sure they pass a budget that leaves no one behind. K-12 may be the only pressure strong enough to get a full state budge passed.

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    I question whether Cullerton could take the heat and hold his caucus to prevent a vote on a K-12 approp.

    Plus, it’s just as immoral as what Rauner has been doing for the last year.

    A very ugly new chapter in Illinois governance, the last year has been.

  5. - logic not emotion - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    Frankly, I think the situation would not have gotten this bad if there was a complete and total shutdown of all state spending effective July 1st.

    Put all state vendors, employees (including officers and legislators), and service providers in the same boat July 1 each year.

    I’d like to some teeth put into a requirement that there be a state budget by June 1 of each year…

  6. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Mr Wonderful won’t take the heat for this. Schools will be opened on time. It’s an election year and the governor holds too many cards. The democrats don’t want to do anything that would mess up their election year plans.

  7. - Triple fat - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    I contend that the Governor didn’t include K-12 in the hostages last year because that would have cutoff the the revenue stream provided to private equity firms through the funding of Charter Schools.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    We have already seen this film.

    As a rule, you never hold John Wayne or Charles Bronson captive.

    It does not end well for the captors.

  9. - Triple fat - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    Charter schools are leveraged to the point that they would collapse if they experienced any hiccup or delay in State payments. Cullerton should keep the pressure on. The Governor will blink.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    The Cullerton Mistake.

    Cullerton will own the K-12 hostage. Democrats will feel earth-shattering heat because Cullerton decided that holding the K-12 hostage will move things. Time will tell.

    The rehab of the Cullerton Mistake with Rauner proving is numbers and showing his work is about as good as you can rehab it…

    … but Cullerton will own it, and Democrats will have to eat it too.

    I’m still in shock Cullerton went here.

  11. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==- Actuary - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:21 pm:==

    Do actuaries not know how to read for comprehension?

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    Actuary, AA thinks you may need a new slide rule. If “pensions are more important than classrooms,” we wouldn’t have this $111 billion unfunded liability.

  13. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===Cullerton will own the K-12 hostage…I’m still in shock Cullerton went here.====

    He already does. I’m as shocked as you are. One should never pull a weapon they aren’t willing and ready to use.

    He outed himself on this. I believe you’d call this an “unforced error”. Strategically very poor.

  14. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===Cullerton should keep the pressure on===

    It’s on alright…himself.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    Oh - A Guy -…

    @RonSandack: I’m frustrated 2, but taking steps towards reforming IL more important than short term budget stalemate. - Ron Sandack, 9/28/15

    Then you agree Rauner has been destroyin’ social services and up to last week, because of the Legislature, Rauner was purposely destroyin’ higher ed.

    Can’t agree on Cullerton and ignore the Owl and his “frustration” but wanting and impasse and owing the impasse.

    K? K.

  16. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Schools need to open in August. Prior to that point, we’ll either see most state employees sent home without pay if the Attorney General is successful, or all state employees walk off the job/be locked out of their job.

    Chaos is coming early for Governor Rauner. It’s going to blow up in his face long before August.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    - 47th Ward -

    I always thought the “race” was between the ruling on state employee pay and AFSCME’s forced work stoppage.

    One, if not both, will happen before K-12, and the Illinois National Guard occupying state government will also happen before K-12, but, the Cullerton Mistake is highlighted not because it’s another hostage being taken, but it’s the lone Democratic hostage and it now puts Cullerton in the low depts of Rauner.

    AFSCME needs to pray daily, if not more, that the Attorney General gets a ruling before they are forced to begin a work stoppage.

  18. - Triple fat - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    This could turn into a twofer - look at all of the money CPS could save without Carter Schools schools draining their funds. CPS’ finances improved and private equity firms losing their business model that guarantees doubling their investment in 7 years at the taxpayer’s expense! Win win to me.

  19. - Triple fat - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:32 pm:

    I know it’s terrible of me to take delight in this, but… The icing on the cake would be all those vacant buildings with the Governor’s last name on them. It would be wonderful.

  20. - Austin Blvd - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    “…What we’ve seen since June will pale in comparison to what we’ll see if K-12 schools aren’t funded…”

    Which is why Rauner decided to sign the K-12 school funding bill last year — despite earlier ordering the GOP legislators to vote against the bill. He realized he was flirting with the abyss.

    Once the courts determine that state employees can’t be paid without an appropriation, he wil begin the free fall.

  21. - winners and losers - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Cullerton will be and should be the loser on PK-12 funding.

    The Chicago special education Block Grant has meant Chicago is not accountable for special ed spending, and can fire special ed teachers at will and still receive EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF STATE MONEY.

    Now Manar/Cullerton want special education formula Block Grants which would mean ANY school district in Illinois could remove 10 percent, or 20 percent, or 30 percent or more of its special education teachers and still receive EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF STATE FUNDING.

  22. - NSideLady - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    If schools don’t open on time, there will be thousands upon thousands of extremely angry parents who also happen to vote. Which is probably the motivation Cullerton is counting on. The question is, who will they take their anger out on?

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    ===The question is, who will they take their anger out on?===




    Rauner will spend $1 million a week in Ads explains abs showcasing the Cullerton Mistake until Cullerton and the Dems will be tired of the reminder.

    The Sandack tweet… that’s what needs some highlighting.

    Cullerton will own K-12 now, the Dems will have to eat it.

    Unforced mistake by Cullerton.

  24. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===Unforced mistake by Cullerton.===

    Oh, Willy. It took a few minutes, but you got there.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    - A Guy -

    @RonSandack: I’m frustrated 2, but taking steps towards reforming IL more important than short term budget stalemate. - Ron Sandack, 9/28/15

    You still aren’t there. Rauner wants pain. Sandack says its so.

    I think what’s so disappointing - A Guy - is that when you think you can get me to allegedly agree with you, you actually push me farther and farther away from where I could be with Rauner, if he’d give up the Labor poison pills “and… and… and…”

    You’re not looking for common ground, you’re looking to extrapolate positions to continue the “war”.

    You just don’t realize it, or you think no one is paying attention.

    This is where you fail Rauner, and his Crew.

  26. - Bryan - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    “What we’ve seen since June will pale in comparison to what we’ll see if K-12 schools aren’t funded.”

    What we’ve seen since June would have been avoided if K-12 schools hadn’t been funded last time. If that’s the only way to solve this hostage situation, then they should do it. It will be good for the state in the long run.

  27. - zatoichi - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    I thought step one in this process was a balanced budget coming from the Gov. There still isn’t one a year later. The GA put forth an unbalancd budget that was vetoed by the Governor, but he offered no alternative. Court decrees got some bucks moving. Now the Supremes are saying you can’t spend what is not appropriated. You can have the greatest car in the world, but if there is no gas in the tank you are not going anywhere no matter how much you blame someone else. Isn’t it the Governor job to at least bring the gas to get this going?

  28. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 3:50 pm:


    I commented on the article above. You extrapolated the argument, as you almost always do. It matters not to me if we agree or not. We’re coming at this from different directions. I’m not worried about which “crew” or “shop” I’m helping or failing. Sometimes a comment…is just a comment. The Senate Pres. stepped in it on this one. That’s all.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===It matters not to me if we agree or not.===

    ===I’m as shocked as you are.===

    Then refrain from using an alleged agreement as your premise.

    ===I’m not worried about which “crew” or “shop” I’m helping or failing.===

    Ok. I will tell you many times it can be argued you’re not helping Rauner, lol.

  30. - Mama - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:03 pm:

    “I hope the Senator holds the funding until the school reform is complete. I’m tired of the band aid approaches instead of fixing the problem entirely!”

    The new school funding reform won’t be ready in time for the schools to open.

  31. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    From another thread today-

    Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin (R) Western Springs, told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS, ​”I’m hopeful we can have an FY (fiscal year) 16 and FY 17 budget that we can accomplish by the end of May. We have members that are now saying ‘Enough’s enough. Let’s get this done.’”

    Quite right, Enough.Is.Enough, and that includes a repeat of last year. Send an entire, complete budget to Rauner. Let him veto everything again except K-12 funding, and then, Republicans who have the courage, Go Around Rauner! If this scenario plays out, overrides will be necessary. Might have to happen in the Veto Session, especially if it falls after the General Election.

  32. - NSideLady - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:25 pm:

    ==Cullerton will own K-12 now, the Dems will have to eat it.==

    Very likely. But it seems as though Cullerton is hoping the masses will believe “Governors [and those who follow him] own,” instead.

  33. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===The Senate Pres. stepped in it on this one. That’s all.===

    If Cullerton “stepped in it” by threatening to take hostages, what does that say about your BFF? He must be drowning in it, lol.

  34. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:48 pm:

    ===Ok. I will tell you many times it can be argued you’re not helping Rauner, lol.===

    Gadzooks. Don’t tell me. Tell him. Since you think it’s such a great benefit to me. In advance, I can tell you; it isn’t.

  35. - A guy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 4:51 pm:

    ===what does that say about your BFF?====

    My BFF has nothing to do with State Government. lol.

    Maybe you and the Willster should go have a shot and a cannoli today. The hair-trigger is a bit too sensitive. This article up top was about ONE topic. You’d never know it reading you two pixies.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 5:17 pm:

    ===This article up top was about ONE topic.===

    Hostage taking?

    Can’t say Cullerton is wrong and then think Rauner is fine with the same strategy.

    It doesn’t reconcile.

  37. - blue dog dem - Monday, Apr 25, 16 @ 5:32 pm:

    Odds of no K-12 budget. 1000 to 1.
    Odds of CPS strike. 6 to 5.
    Odds of AFSCME job action. 6 to 5.

    Like some of the RAUN Mans numbers when it comes to the budget, I just pulled these out of my ….

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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