*** UPDATE 1 *** Back to the drawing board…
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis…
“With this distraction behind us, we can move forward on working with the General Assembly to fix our state’s school funding formula. Governor Rauner’s bipartisan commission has recommended changes that will create an equitable school funding formula to better meet the needs of each student within every school district in our state. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming decades of fiscal mismanagement on a governor who has been in office for two years, CPS should be urging lawmakers to pass a balanced budget that includes changes to our education system that will better meet the needs of every student.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** Sen. Andy Manar…
“Illinois school districts are in a state of emergency, and I’ve seen little evidence that the governor understands the magnitude of their crisis,” Manar said.
“Somehow, lawsuits, social media campaigns and thunderous rallies outside the doors of his office aren’t getting the message across to him. News reports about districts nearly missing payroll, cutting programs and laying off teachers apparently aren’t setting off alarms, either, because he’s done very little to move the ball forward on school funding reform.
“Superintendents and parents are sending a clear message to Springfield: their schools can’t survive much longer under the status quo. It’s up to Gov. Rauner to bring lawmakers together to get a balanced budget and to revamp the state’s school funding formula. Only then can we begin to ensure all students benefit from fair and adequate school funding in Illinois.”
*** UPDATE 4 *** Sen. Kimberly Lightford…
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
“The General Assembly has a responsibility to make sure the academic progress of Chicago’s children is not disrupted due to our governor’s unwillingness to help them. His rhetoric has done nothing but alienate these children, and their education is not a political pawn.”
* The Tribune looks at the CPS lawsuit against the state. A hearing will be held today at 2:30 and the judge is expected to announce his ruling at that time…
CPS is asking [Cook County Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama] to bar state government from making new payments to any Illinois school district until it can show it will pay for education and teacher pension costs in a nondiscriminatory manner. It isn’t yet clear how such a move, if approved, would lead to a rapid solution for the district’s immediate financial pressures.
State government attorneys argue such a decision would have an outsized and harmful effect on the 80 percent of Illinois schoolchildren who do not attend CPS, a retort derided by the district as confirmation of the “precise evil” enabled by discrimination.
The state’s lawyers argue CPS has no legal basis to sue under Illinois’ civil rights law and have asked the judge to dismiss the case outright. […]
The district’s lawsuit argues that the state discriminates against its largely impoverished and minority students, and violates Illinois civil rights law, by contributing more money to teacher pensions in the suburbs and Downstate than Chicago.
CPS didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Thursday. But even if CPS scores a legal knockout Friday, a financial rescue can’t possibly come in time to stave off the early closing date of June 1 that Chicago Public Schools has threatened.
For one thing, Rauner could appeal an adverse ruling. His office declined to say for sure on Thursday, or to answer other questions. A spokeswoman sent a repeat of a prepared response telling CPS to “urge legislators to pass a balanced budget that includes school funding reforms that will better meet the needs of every student.”
And even if he doesn’t appeal, a rewrite of the school funding formula that has eluded the state lawmakers for decades won’t be easy or quick, particularly not as the state budget stalemate drags on.
That means if Emanuel hopes to preserve the longer school year that he endured a teachers strike to achieve, he will have no choice but to roll the dice and rescue CPS.
Yep. A favorable ruling will strengthen Emanuel’s hand in future negotiations, but it probably won’t in and of itself solve the immediate problem facing CPS.