* 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 BlueRoomStream.com…
*** 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.