Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x6 - Manar: Violation of the law - Dems to request inspector general probe - LIVE Video - SDems plan press conference - Manar claims documents were “doctored” before release *** Government-leaked fake news?
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*** UPDATED x6 - Manar: Violation of the law - Dems to request inspector general probe - LIVE Video - SDems plan press conference - Manar claims documents were “doctored” before release *** Government-leaked fake news?

Friday, May 19, 2017

* From a story published last night in the Kankakee Times, which is part of Dan Proft’s newspaper empire

Kankakee County schools would be net losers of state funding under a bill that passed the Illinois State Senate Wednesday.

Collectively, the county’s 12 school districts would get $1.15 million per year less from the state’s school funding formula, a two percent decrease from their 2015 funding levels, according to an Illinois State Board of Education analysis obtained by the Kankakee Times.

Both Kankakee County State Senators– Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) and Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago)– voted “yes” on Senate Bill 1, which passed 35-18 with three Senators voting present.

Herscher District 2 (44% decrease), Grant Park District 6 (37% decrease), Manteno District 5 (19% decrease), Bourbonnais District 53 (19% decrease), St George District 258 (17% decrease) and Bradley-Bourbonnais District 307 (16% decrease) would all be losers if Senate Bill 1 is enacted into law.

Kankakee District 111 (+9 percent), St. Anne District 302 (+8 percent), Pembroke District 259 (+7 percent) and Momence District 1 (+4 percent) all stand to receive more state funding from the bill.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), includes a $385 million bailout of Chicago Public Schools, which face bankruptcy due to years of deficit spending.

* As I told subscribers earlier today, the ISBE analysis and the resulting newspaper article were based on Amendment 4, which the chamber did not vote on this week. Sponsoring Sen. Andy Manar says the same analysis was distributed at a budget meeting yesterday. [The two analyses were different.] More from Politico

Proft, the recipient of millions of dollars from Rauner as a political operative, oversees a chain of 20 publications. That had Manar fearing that bad district-specific information would spread across the state.

“No one in Kankakee County will lose a penny,” he said. “Everyone in Kankakee will get more,” under the bill as passed, he said. […]

“This looks a lot like the Rauner administration is leaking fake documents to a politically connected publication to manufacture problems that don’t exist so Republican members can cleanse their ‘no’ votes — and avoid being thrown under the bus by their governor,” Manar charged. […]

“This claim is false, and Manar is just trying to paper over the fact that he just ran a Chicago bailout yesterday,” said Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. “Rather than making false, wild accusations, they should stop the partisan politics and return to the negotiating table to achieve a bipartisan school funding formula that meets the needs of all students in the state.”

Both amendments contain “hold harmless” language, so Manar is right that the reductions won’t happen.

Proft told me this morning that the piece would be corrected.

*** UPDATE 1 ***   More on the government fake news angle…

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press advisory…

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and other Senate Democrats will react this morning to news regarding the release of fraudulent education funding numbers to a Rauner-backed political operation.

When: 11 a.m. Friday, May 19, 2017

Where: State Capitol press briefing room (blue room)

*** UPDATE 3 *** And here’s a live video embed courtesy of our pals at

*** UPDATE 4 *** Sen. Manar just said he and his colleagues are sending a letter today to the Executive Inspector General calling for an investigation.

*** UPDATE 5 *** From the SDems…

“To me, there’s a violation of the law there,” Sen. Manar said at the presser.

*** UPDATE 6 *** We have an update on this story in a new post. So, I’m closing comments on this one. Click here to go to the new post.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - winners and losers - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    NO ONE has done an analysis of SB 1 as it passed the Senate, as Amendment 5 was introduced on May 17 and SB 1 passed the Senate the same day, May 17

    You cannot hold harmless forever as some school districts are losing many students (and a few are gaining many students). Freezing funding is simply not equitable.

    And assuming $3.5 Billion to $8 Billion in NEW money to fund SB 1 is a dream (as the Chicago Sun-Times columnist stated) “because, well, a miracle could happen.”

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    Dan Proft is paid to make sure nothing happens but what Bruce Rauner wants to happen. If that means creating phony newspapers with those newspapers pushing narratives to either blow up support of things or destroy actual legislation or legislators on flimsy “news”, Proft has shown he will oblige.

    Proft likes to be confrontational, not someone looking for solutions. This is who Proft is.

  3. - Honeybear - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Fake news

    mustard gas at Ypres.

    Malum in se

  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Are you telling me Dan Proft made a mistake?
    And admitted it?

  5. - Hamlet's Ghost - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    == Proft told me this morning that the piece would be corrected. ==

    I’ve seen some great cartoons with the caption: “The jury will disregard . . .”

  6. - Truthteller - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Rauner figures that combined with the truth that even his $50 million can’t get him re elected, but combine the money with the lies then maybe he can make it.
    Fake news, the best hope he’s got

  7. - Biscuit Head - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Amazon’s Jeff Bezos personally bought the Washington Post and has reinvigorated that newspaper to its glory days by hiring good editors and reporters and letting them do their job without editiorial/ownership interference.

    I’d love to see him (or someone else like that) take the same approach with the Chicago Sun Times.

    I’m fed up with media consolidation (TV, Radio, Newspaper) and 95% of the newsy-blogs. Most of them are no better than Facebook rants.

  8. - Fixer - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Be interesting to see if he actually follows through with a correction.

  9. - Anon - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Andy says the ‘Hold Harmless’ provision will prevent the Kankakee schools from losing their shirts if SB1 passes.

    Does that mean the schools will not see a cut in funding two, five, ten years down the road if SB1 passes? I guess I’m worried that the “hold harmless” is just political talk for it won’t hurt now, but it will hurt in the future.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    Sometimes the “big guns” shoot themselves and others “in their own feet”

    Proft has his money, I’m sure, so it’s cool(?)

  11. - Testy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    A “correction” would be for typos, math errors, not a falsified document.

  12. - Reese's Pieces - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    “…stop the partisan politics and return to the negotiating table…”

    Hey ck,
    Practice what you preach or change the speech!
    Just another AFSCME thug

  13. - JS Mill - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    =Does that mean the schools will not see a cut in funding two, five, ten years down the road if SB1 passes?=

    Normally I would ask you to do your own research, but I think the answer is unclear.

    In Manar’s previous proposals “hold harmless” was for two years. The explanation was that two years was enough time for districts to adjust spending or revenue to correct for future funding changes.

    I do not have a clear understanding of the bill that just passed. My guess is that the “hold harmless” is for a specified period.

    For the EBM, the original plan/approach was that 2017 would be the base funding level and funding would increase from there over time depending on how much the state was willing to add to the total funding level. No one ever believed that it would be fully funded with an additional $4 billion dollars.

    Since the discussion began, legislators have worked to manipulate the factors to reduce the cost of the model so they could get a political “win”.

  14. - Harvest76 - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Thought I would stop in and pre-release the governor’s response to this news conference at 11.

    “It’s a shame Senator Manar and the Democrats are wasting time with false accusations rather than working with my office on business-friendly reforms desperately needed to turn around the state’s economy.”

  15. - The Captain - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Coverage follows conflict and with Manar willing to give the juicy conflict quotes this is sure getting a lot of coverage.

    Also, it’s not lost on me that Kankakee is essentially the area for the district that Parkhurst beat Cloonen last cycle. That district has been a target each time under this map.

  16. - Saluki - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Good Grief

  17. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    ===Sen. Manar just said he and his colleagues are sending a letter today to the Executive Inspector General calling for an investigation.===

    Whoever had May 19th as the day the Senate negotiations finally conclude without agreement, please step forward to collect your winnings.

  18. - kitty - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    If it can be determined that Dan Proft was responsible in any part, perhaps there needs to be a referral to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.

  19. - HH is forever - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==I do not have a clear understanding of the bill that just passed. My guess is that the “hold harmless” is for a specified period.==

    It lasts forever. It’s totally different than any other hold harmless we’ve seen before. The Evidence-Based Model first calculates a “Base Funding Minimum” for every district, which is equal to the amount of state funding it got in FY17. A “Local Capacity Target” is calculated to determine each district’s ability to raise local revenue. The Base Funding Minimum + the Local Capacity Target are added together to represent how much the district has available.

    Meanwhile, an “Adequacy Target” is calculated that represents how much the district needs for full funding if it had best practices in place around class size, professional development, infrastructure, technology, SpEd and EL services, etc.

    Those two numbers — how much they have and much they need — enable them to figure out how adequately each district is funded.

    The final and most important step is the distribution model, which fills in the gap for the least adequately-funded districts with the first cut of money, then the next least adequately-funded, and 1% of new money to districts that are 90%+ funded.

    The point here is that the Hold Harmless is built into this model as an integral piece. There is no way there could be a loser as long as they use the real FY17 allocations. (Barickman’s bill pulled some stuff out so there were 100-200 districts that did “lose,” but not Manar.)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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