*** UPDATE *** SB1 as amended passed the House with 60 votes, including one Republican, McAuliffe.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* I’m told this info is being shared by the governor’s office with legislators on the new House Democratic amendment to SB 1, the education funding reform bill. The Democrats are saying 250 school districts come out better than Chicago, based on per pupil money. The Rauner administration disagrees…
The “runs” being shared by House Democrats do not accurately reflect the real cost of this bill over and above FY17. Overall, this bill would require AT LEAST $650 million more than FY17 funding levels in order for schools to see increases. Here is what is missing from the “runs”:
An additional $313 million must be added to the base funding minimum. The runs being shared are based on the FY2016 budget. It does not include the stop loss grant.
· An additional $216 million to $250 million to fully fund the mandated categoricals. Although CPS will get its appropriate share of “claims,” it will also get its block grant in its base funding minimum. That means those funds are not available for other legitimate claims. To rectify that, the GA will either have to continue to prorate mandated categoricals or increase the education budget by an additional $250 million
· The runs do not include $50 million increase for early childhood education
With so many unknowns and without allowing time for real runs to be evaluated, members are forced to vote on this proposal without knowing the answer to at least four vital questions:
1. Which school districts would suffer the most if the General Assembly fails to appropriate the extra $650 million required to hide this CPS bailout?
2. Under this proposal, exactly how much money is being diverted from every school district to Chicago instead of being equitably distributed across all school districts?
3. If this level of additional funding was provided to other proposals in the General Assembly, what would the runs look like? How would school districts statewide fare if $650 million in new money was put through the model in Sen. Barickman’s latest proposal?
4. Similarly, how would school districts fare if $650 million were added to the current funding formula?
The Rauner folks are also issuing behind the scenes warnings that the Illinois State Board of Education’s eventual analysis will not show the same sort of winners that the Democratic analysis does because of the assumptions the Democrats are using. So, a lot of Democratic targets, they warn, could be voting for something that might not help their own schools.