Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Pritzker responds - Cullerton spokesman weighs in - Rauner statement - Manar responds *** Rauner demands SB 1 be sent to him so he can AV it
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*** UPDATED x4 - Pritzker responds - Cullerton spokesman weighs in - Rauner statement - Manar responds *** Rauner demands SB 1 be sent to him so he can AV it

Monday, Jul 17, 2017

* Here we go…


* Perhaps unsurprisingly, this tracks closely with a recent Chicago Tribune editorial entitled “Will Illinois schools open this fall? Stop stalling, lawmakers”

Enough stalling, legislators. Cullerton should send the bill to Rauner. And the legislature should prepare to return to Springfield, soon, to address his possible veto. […]

What we have recommended, and what we hope Rauner will consider, is vetoing one portion of the bill that gives CPS pension relief. Yes, the state already pays for pensions of every other district statewide, and it’s not unreasonable that CPS should get help too. But not until lawmakers go a step further and curb pension costs for taxpayers statewide: Pass the separate Cullerton pension bill that is sitting in the House Rules Committee, or a strong version of it. The bill would give employees in the pension systems an option to switch up their plans. Create a 401(k)-style plan for new workers. End pensions for legislators. The more reforms, the better.

Do that quickly, and also give CPS its pension relief. That was the deal struck last year between Rauner and Democratic leaders. Stick to it.

The only difference is, the Tribune maintains the bill isn’t a CPS “bailout.”

*** UPDATE 1 ***  From an earlier AP story

Illinois gives governors constitutional authority to use an amendatory veto to make “specific recommendations for change.” But it’s unclear whether lawmakers left language specific enough to alter.

I’ll try to have more on that angle in a bit. Meanwhile, here’s react from Sen. Andy Manar…

“Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras.

“Gov. Rauner promised to overhaul the worst school funding formula in the country to the benefit of all Illinois schoolchildren. He promised to be the education governor. Unfortunately, he is more interested in spouting divisive soundbites than in solving the real problems that grip Illinois.

“Given his repeated pledges to veto this historic and vitally important legislation – despite his reported support of 90 percent of what’s in the bill – of course we are doing everything we can to protect it from his poor judgement.

“Gov. Rauner has never contacted me directly regarding his alleged problems with Senate Bill 1. It is clear to me today that he intends to use the children of Illinois as leverage for his political agenda when he could be working out a compromise to accomplish a much-needed and long-awaited reform. I am saddened and discouraged by his display today.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

Today, Governor Bruce Rauner called on members of the Illinois Senate to send him Senate Bill 1, the education funding bill. Democrats in the Illinois Senate are using a procedural quirk to keep the bill from advancing. If the bill is not sent to Governor Rauner’s desk soon, public schools throughout the state may not open in time for the new school year.

In squatting on this bill, Democrats are taking away critical resources from school districts across the state. When the bill does reach his desk, Governor Rauner plans to issue an amendatory veto that will result in higher state funding for almost every school district in Illinois. The bill includes a bailout of Chicago’s broken teacher pension system, so Governor Rauner plans to amend SB 1 to remove this from the bill and instead provide adequate and equitable funding for students in Illinois no matter their zip code.

The governor’s amendatory veto also will adjust the bill so that it is more closely aligned with the to the original ideals proposed by the governor’s School Funding Reform Commission – which has bipartisan support. These reforms include mandating that the majority of all money in SB 1 will go to statewide school districts serving a majority of students from families with low income. This marks a historic change that will, over time, fix education inequity in Illinois.

“We have a chance to make history and adopt a new school funding plan that, for the first time, ensures all school districts in Illinois are equitably and adequately funded. Unfortunately, Democrats want to turn this historic opportunity into a bailout for the CPS pension system,” said Governor Rauner. “The point of this school reform bill is to help low income students across the state, including those in Chicago, get the education they deserve – not to bailout CPS’s mismanaged teacher pension system.”

As written, SB 1 is a bailout for the decades of financial mismanagement at CPS. The bill directs millions of dollars to CPS and away from other deserving districts. Under SB 1, as compared to the Governor’s plan, the other 851 school districts in Illinois will receive less of the FY18 budget money while CPS receives credit for a $506 million historical pension payment. The CPS hold harmless includes both the $250 million block grant credit and $221 million for normal pension costs and retiree health care credit.

“The General Assembly under Speaker Madigan have failed to adequately or equitably fund our schools for decades. It has hurt generations of Illinois children who live in low income communities,” said Governor Rauner. “It’s not right to give CPS more than its equitable share at the expense of other struggling school districts. That’s not reform. It is the same old rigged politics that created this disgraceful system we are trying to fix. ”

A new webpage launched by the governor shows how much more money each school district will receive after the governor issues his amendatory veto: https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SitePages/SchoolDistrictFunding.aspx

Video footage from today’s tour will be available here.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Senate President Cullerton’s spokesman…

There are ongoing discussions about when to send it to the governor’s desk.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Pritzker campaign…

“After holding this state hostage to force his special interest agenda on Illinois for the last two and a half years, Bruce Rauner has reached a new low as he tries to pit school-children and communities against each other to further divide this state,” said JB Pritzker. “Instead of press stunts and shortsighted attacks, Bruce Rauner should stop treating children and families like political pawns and sign SB1.

“Rauner agrees with 90 percent of the bill, but still refuses to do what’s right for our students. It’s another broken promise from a governor who talks about reform, but can’t deliver and has now surrounded himself with a team of radicals who will do further damage to this state. Students in Illinois deserve a quality education and Rauner won’t let that happen because it’s not politically expedient for him.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

80 Comments »
  1. - OkComputer - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    “Rewrite to do Right pt. 7″

    People act like its new, but every time a Governor feels like he lost a legislative battle, or is called irrelevant, he breaks out the A/V pen on some other topic.

    Just like Blagojevich.
    Just like Quinn.


  2. - N'ville - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    Maybe the Dems will take their own advice to the Governor, and take 90% and claim victory…


  3. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Might as well give him the bill and move the process. Status quo isn’t accomplishing anything.


  4. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    I think its more likely to get 4 House GOPs to go along with every House & Senate Dem to override than it would be to get 10 House Dems & 8 Senate Dems to pass the AV.


  5. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Actually 9 House Dems.


  6. - Just Me - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Why didn’t he AV the budget bills?


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    So Rauner wants a prolonged schools shutdown as dessert? Great


  8. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Is there a special stamp for AVs or do Govs literally cross out things they don’t like & sign the rest? How’s this work, I’m curious


  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Great response already: https://twitter.com/RadicalCandorIL/status/886980017124671491


  10. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Brady talks about leverage. The problem is that you need to come to an agreement on what you want in order to release that leverage. Rauner has consistently set a high bar for a compromise. A bar the Dems don’t want to jump over. I’ve come to the conclusion that Rauner will not lower, perhaps raise the bar higher, now that he’s been defeated on the budget.

    If Brady and Durkin want some “reforms,” then they need to buck Rauner. Leaving the decision to Rauner will mean the bill dies unless the rational 10 GOP vote to override.


  11. - OkComputer - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Funny, in looking up old A/V stories, I found this one that seemed hilariously appropriate:

    http://prev.dailyherald.com/story/?id=226335&src=109

    Blagojevich said Thursday he’s considering ordering lawmakers back to the Capitol in September and keeping them there until they fix education funding - a move that most believe would require some kind of tax increase.

    The catch is Blagojevich would then veto any such increase.

    “If it increases income taxes, yeah,” said spokesman Lucio Guerrero. “Any kind of taxes.”"

    By…. John Patterson


  12. - Linus - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    Looks like Bill Mitchell was up at the podium with Rauner, Barickman, Rose, and Halbrook. Does that signal he hasn’t been frozen out entirely by Rauner Inc. for his SB9 and 6 votes?


  13. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    It’s his best, smartest, most logical move. I’m absolutely shocked he is doing it.


  14. - Hmmm... - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    The Democrats won’t be able to override. No Republican willpower to help CPS.

    This “Chicago vs everyone else” debate is absolutely unethical. The formula is the formula. Apply it to all school districts with no special deals for any school district.

    The last time to checked, they count votes in Chicago like everywhere else. Why continue to demonize?


  15. - Nick Name - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    “Rauner demands”

    He just does not get the whole separation of powers thing, does he?

    Maybe in the future, candidates for governor should be required to pass a basic civics test.

    Civics Test for Illinois Governor Candidates
    1. Define “compromise”
    2. Define “separation of powers”
    3. Can you count to 60?
    4. Can you count to 30?
    5. Who is in charge of the entire state, the governor or the Speaker of the House?

    And so on.


  16. - OkComputer - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    At the end of the day, a VETO is still a VETO.

    It’s not an amendatory SIGN.

    If there aren’t votes there to accept the changes to the VETO, the whole bill dies, as if it is a VETO.


  17. - Roman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    Really interesting to see how this develops in the GA. The Chicago “bail out” messaging is probably too strong for enough downstate House GOPers to repeat the budget override on SB 1. But a deal on a new bill that downstaters can call a “win” might get to 71 and 36 and cut Rauner out all together.


  18. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    I think Roman’s right - the AV won’t be overridden or passed, there will have to be a new bill passed with 71 & 36 - which is needed even if Rauner comes on board because we’re past May 31.


  19. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    @okcomputer

    You are right. I was thinking line item veto. He better be careful.


  20. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Nick Name- And remember, Rauner is the “Civics Education” governor;)

    https://www.illinoiscivics.org/resources/illinois-civic-education-legislation


  21. - cdog - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Isn’t the CPS pension system DOA, regardless of a million from here, a million from there?

    What’s so difficult to embrace about court-supervised reorganization, aka bankruptcy?

    Admit it’s an untenable mess, reorganize, move on to better days.


  22. - Joe M - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    ==The bill would give employees in the pension systems an option to switch up their plans.== - Tribune.

    That makes it sound like the pension bill will give public employees the option of two positives. I must have missed that bill.


  23. - Holy cow - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    How exactly can you bail out Chicago pension when all other state pension need a bail out . You state employees should sue over this one


  24. - Roman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    - cdog -

    The CPS pension is actually funded better than TRS, believe it or not.


  25. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    Given final passage vote totals, 11 House GOP needed to override and 1 Senate GOP. Dems can change votes, but GOP votes are still required in House.

    My guess is we’ll end up with no funding reform.


  26. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    == You are right. I was thinking line item veto. He better be careful. ==

    I wonder if Governor Rauner (and his new staff) understand how the AV actually works?

    Perhaps a meeting of Rauner and the Four Tops would be in order to discuss terms for sending over SB1


  27. - Roman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    - Holy cow -

    SB 1 would have the state assume the CPS pension’s normal costs moving forward, like it does for every other school district. Chicago property taxpayers will have to “bail out” the CPS debt.


  28. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Whenever politicians “demand” something, I think about the following lines from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One:

    In this scene, GLENDOWER is threatening HOTSPUR

    GLENDOWER
    I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

    HOTSPUR
    Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them?


  29. - Publius - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Can anyone tell me the annual cost of benefits of the Chicago public school system. Not the long term unfunded liability, the actual benefits paid to retirees


  30. - Flynn's mom - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    Has the IPI told Rauner what to veto yet, or is he just wanting it in his possession until they come to their final conclusion?


  31. - Generic Drone - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Again with the 2 options of reduced pension formulas? Why are they continuing to try the same ole route which has already been ruled unconstitutional. I guess they dont understand the word no.


  32. - OH - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    == Perhaps unsurprisingly, this tracks closely with a recent Chicago Tribune editorial ==

    Rauner/Tronc/IPI synergy — now more than ever.


  33. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    I guess I need a history lesson or time in the library. I thought CPS has an independent pension system because that is what they wanted. Didnt Pate and Daley work that out so Daley could have control of schools. So CPS complaining now is late and is their own mess.
    And as far as changing pension it best be prospective, I do not see how you can change anything that might be a diminution and have it constitutional.
    I have always been a republican but not a Rauner fan but let me tell you talking to people that anti Madigan no Chicago stuff is working. People out here are mad. ( madshould be capitalized)


  34. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    However, if Dems & a few GOP work something out like they did with the budget, Rauner could sit on it until late Sept/early Oct - so the GA might have to decide between either override or passing the AV to make sure schools open


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Illinois gives governors constitutional authority to use an amendatory veto to make “specific recommendations for change.” But it’s unclear whether lawmakers left language specific enough to alter.===

    “Madddddiiiiiigan”

    Funny thing, if this true, this could be Rauner’s out.

    “I couldn’t veto it unless I vetoed it all. Because Madigan”

    But, this is an IPI operation.

    They might suggest then to veto it all, crash K-12 entirely.


  36. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    The amendatory veto is such a neat power - it effectively makes the Governor the 3rd house of the General Assembly.


  37. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    === But it’s unclear whether lawmakers left language specific enough to alter. ===

    Interesting point, but I don’t think it really matters. Remembering Blago’s “rewrite to do right” effort, I’m sure Rauner will have no problem drafting a message that says CPS is screwed. Madigan won’t accept the AV and won’t call an acceptance motion get a vote - citing AV overreach. So the AV becomes another political shield for Rauner and his caucus as well as a club to hit Dems for school opening problems.


  38. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    The Manar statement is extremely high quality.


  39. - I don't get it - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    If you lose Chicago and Chicagoland suburbs how do you win re-election? If you keep attacking the city I believe there are enough downstate people who have family in the city, who know that if the city gets destroyed and there is no better way to do thisthen by destroying the school system the outcome is the destruction of the tax system and then down state communities as well. Why, so much anger? Why pit one community against another? Where is the pride in IL as a whole and Chicago as a gem in the Midwest.


  40. - Earnest - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    >Gov. Rauner says teachers in Springfield will get $500,000 more a year if he amendatory veto’s SB1 to not include funding for CPS pensions.

    Don’t they get $500,000 more/year if he signs the bill too? Or maybe I’m not up on the AV language?


  41. - Really - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Ducky LaMoore,

    Too bad Manar’s ability to write bills isn’t as good as his speechifying. No bailout’s for Chicago.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    Republican statewides need ~20% in city votes.

    I dunno if an AV of SB1 allows much wiggle room, given the attacks on Labor, and the purposeful destruction of social services, now a Veto hurting Chicago students?

    If you’re a Chicagoan, “Reagan Democrat” in the traditional and classical sense, even a “Lipinski” conservative Dem… it’s tough to see beating down Chicago as a “best” move.


  43. - PJ - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    Really -

    In what way is it a “Chicago bailout’s [sic]”?

    Bonus points if you can actually explain your answer without googling IPI’s garbage talking points.


  44. - Real - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    Really

    You are Rauner’s target audience when he drops his g’s and says no bailouts for Chicago. Rauner’s goal is to divide and conquer. He sees you as a tool to accomplish his goal.


  45. - Juvenal - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    @Fax Machine:

    Wrong. From the House Rules:

    (c) The Governor’s specific recommendations for change with respect to a bill returned under subsection (e) of Section 9 of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution shall be limited to addressing the Governor’s objections to portions of a bill the general merit of which the Governor recognizes and shall not alter the fundamental purpose or legislative scheme set forth in the bill as passed.

    Under the law, the governor cannot use the amendatory veto to fundamentally alter the intent of the legislation.

    He clearly does not recognize “the general merit” of a “Chicago bailout”, but also does not have the spine to veto the bill outright.

    What we observe here is a governor who is to weak, meek, cowardly, and feckless to do what anyone who truly objected to a “Chicago bailout” would do: veto the bill outright.

    Say what you want about Proft, at least he has a spine.


  46. - cdog - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    OW says, “it’s tough to see beating down Chicago as a “best” move.”

    There has to be a significant percentage of Chicagoans that are tired of this blue state double-talk. It’s a wedge, and could help the city overcome its decades of mismanagement most evidenced by its segregated neighborhoods, labor control, and resulting violence.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===…It’s a wedge… ===

    Again, not the “best” move to get ~20% of Chicagoans.

    This wedge now has social services, MAP students at NEIU, UIC, Chicago State, and Labor. Now you want to add Chicago Schools and the Students?

    ===…most evidenced by its segregated neighborhoods, labor control, and resulting violence.===

    What you’re suggesting is welcoming the continued fracturing of Chicago.

    Um, ok.


  48. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Manar needs to stop saying we have the “worst school funding formula in the country”.

    No, we do not. The lack of funding of our current formula, the failure to increase the Foundation level for 9 years, since 2008, means we rely far too much on the property tax, which results in disparate and inequitable funding.

    No matter how many times Manar (and others) say it, the problem is not the formula but the lack of funding.


  49. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    @ winners and losers
    We do have the worst school funding bill in the country. I’m sorry, Alabama does, then we do. It’s the funding and how funds are distributed. Look up the statistics and and it will show you Chicago has the highest percentage of students in poverty. The last time the formula was redone was during Edgar in the late 1990s.


  50. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    “But as there are many facets to the school funding equation, the one that is most important — and that often is the first component to fall away from the discussion — is funding it.

    “In truth, our current funding formula would likely be meeting most needs if it was properly funded.

    “It does attempt to funnel more funding to those districts with less property wealth, but it is still using the foundation level of spending per pupil from 2008.

    “No formula will work properly with that track record of underfunding.”

    Illinois Association of School Boards
    Funding reform won’t work without funding
    By Ben Schwarm
    https://www.iasb.com/journal/j030417_02.cfm


  51. - City Zen - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    But CPS has enough money to pay for the employEE portion of the pension contribution but not the employER.


  52. - Roman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Did any of the reporters at the press conference ask Rauner about the difficulty of passing any education funding reform measure if all the GA members who represent parts of Chicago are opposed?

    Dividing the state always makes it harder to govern.


  53. - Huh? - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    “Gov. Rauner has never contacted me directly regarding his alleged problems with Senate Bill 1.”

    Um, Senator Manar, you are not in the same economic or social strata as 1.4%. You also belong to the wrong political party. 1.4% has stated he was going to veto the bill because of the CAP bailout. And lastly, 1.4% only listens to himself.

    So the likelihood that 1.4% is going to call you about SB 1 are zip, nada and zilch. So don’t hold your breath or wait by the phone because he ain’t gonna call.


  54. - C Ball - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    @ Juvenal : House rules don’t trump the IL Constitution and the IL courts have allowed the governor broad discretion. Of course, the GA has broad discretion too. Despite the term “amendatory veto” the governor does not issue formal amendments to the bill that the GA must vote up or down on but only “recommendations for change.”. The GA must write amendments that can divert from the governor’s desired language.


  55. - the Patriot - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    Blagojevich used broad AV powers and it was a mistake then. Now the Dems/Madigan don’t have a lot to say about how broad this power is.

    Chicago opted out of pensions because they wanted their own deal. They took the money, used it for other stuff, now want us to pay for it. They were too good to be included with the downstate teachers, so they are too good to take our money.

    Downstate flippers like Terri Bryant are probably already toast. Raise taxes and turn around to give more of our money to Chicago, don’t bother filing petitions for 2018.


  56. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    === Now the Dems/Madigan don’t have a lot to say about how broad this power is. ===

    Wrong – wrong – wrong.


  57. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    “the annual failure to fund the GSA formula at any level close to the recommendations of the Education Funding Advisory Board, which was to have been an iron-clad rule when EFAB was created decades ago.

    “I don’t think there would be an argument about equity if the state funded the 50% of education that the Constitution implies it should and that the GSA “equalization” formula was designed for in the 1970s.

    “The state can’t equalize anything paying just 26%.

    “The structure of the formula didn’t cause the problem.

    “Failure to fund the formula as it was intended to be funded, that’s what caused the problem and nothing else.”

    Illinois School News Service, April 27, 2017


  58. - OH - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    == Now the Dems/Madigan don’t have a lot to say about how broad this power is ==

    Didn’t Madigan reject all of Blago’s AV’s except his goofy seniors-ride-for-free AV of RTA funding?


  59. - C Ball - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    “Winners and losers” is correct. If the foundation level were raised and more $ appropriated by the state, then IL’s ranking in terms of both % of state funds v. local funds and the funding gap between the top quartile and bottom quartile of district’s % of low-income students would change. None of the ratings of state education funding evaluate the states’ formulas, only the outcome in terms of dollars allocated. If other states reduced their amounts of state funding, their formula would not save them from a drop in the rankings.


  60. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    == But CPS has enough money to pay for the employEE portion of the pension contribution but not the employER. ==

    So,if you don’t like that, try to take it back when the contract comes due again. That’s something the local school board has to do. If you want to be nice, try to phase it down year by year on a multi-year contract.


  61. - Decaf Coffee Party - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    I will admit there is merit to the argument that if the state had faithfully funded the current, broken system — and revised upward the foundation level as needed — it might not have the biggest disparity in the nation between the haves and the have-nots.

    But, of course, this is Illinois and the state failed to live up to its responsibility. So these zip code gaps have continued to grow larger.

    One thing about SB 1 that gets little attention but probably should since it is Illinois is this: Unlike the current system that disproportionately harms those districts that rely most on state aid when there are cuts to state funding, SB 1 is designed to protect those districts furthest from adequacy if/when there are state cuts.


  62. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    How is anyone who follows Springfield politics even remotely believe Senator Manar is shocked the Governor has a problem with Senate Bill #1?

    The CPS fight about pension reform before the funding formula is changed has been going on for over a year and has been in all the papers.

    Before the state gives CPS more money for pensions, the system needs to be reformed so the problem does not get any worse.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===Before the state gives CPS more money for pensions, the system needs to be reformed so the problem does not get any worse.===

    So you advocate holding K-12 schools hostage?

    Ok, sounds good. Rauner will own that schools aren’t open.

    “Until… reforms”…

    Chance will just say #DoYourJob Gov. Rauner, lol


  64. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    =if/when there are state cuts==

    So we have SB 1 which would cost $8 Billion in NEW money to fully fund over 10 years, AND we have no source for that $8 Billion in NEW money.

    It requires schools to do nothing to improve academic achievement (no school has to do its 27 elements to receive State money); it does nothing to reduce the over $400 million EXTRA we spend on school administration (as compared with the national average); and the House Committee was told by Mike Jacoby (IASBO: school business people) that citizens were going to have to get involved with local school budgets (since we were going to have almost complete local control of budgets).

    Has anyone ever gone to a public hearing on their local school budget? Ever tried to read and understand a local school district budget? Ever tried to change it?


  65. - Arsenal - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    ==How is anyone who follows Springfield politics even remotely believe Senator Manar is shocked the Governor has a problem with Senate Bill #1?==

    He didn’t say he was shocked.


  66. - cdog - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    To the updates…

    So where is Madigan? Cullerton?

    On vacation while school boards/admins/parents sweat out this latest round of king of the hill?


  67. - Roman - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    - the Patriot -

    Chicago did not opt “out of pensions because they wanted their own deal.”

    The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund came first, established in the 1890’s. A statewide (and state-funded) system for teachers outside of Chicago was established by the General Assembly in 1915 because few other municipalities were big enough to set up their own systems — some tried and failed. This statewide fund became TRS in 1939.

    Through most of it’s existence, the Chicago teachers fund remained relatively healthy, largely because of a special levy on every Chicago property tax bill that sent dollars directly to the pension fund. The Chicago School Board could not redirect those funds the way the General Assembly could (and did) redirect funds that should have gone to TRS. That is why Chicago’s fund was always financially healthier that TRS.

    This changed with the 1995 Chicago School Reform Amendatory Act. That law (passed and signed by suburban and downstate Republicans) eliminated the dedicated pension levy in Chicago, allowed the Chicago Board to skip pension payments, and required the state to pick up about one-third of CPS’s normal pension costs (as opposed to all of TRS’s normal costs.) However, that one-third “pick up” by the state shrunk to nearly zero within a handful of years.

    The 1995 law put the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund in the lousy shape it is today. CPS has to pay a pension ramp-up for essentially making no pension payments for 20 years. The CPS budget crisis is a pension funding crisis, pure and simple. Plenty of blame to go around — Daley, Edgar, Pate, Daniels, primarily. And General Assemblies and governors since 1995 enable the situation to get worse.


  68. - Decaf Coffee Party - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:59 pm:

    It requires schools to do nothing to improve academic achievement (no school has to do its 27 elements to receive State money)=

    While you are correct that SB 1 is not another unfunded mandate to local school boards and communities, it is a very transparent road map that can easily be understood by citizens.

    For example, one of the elements is class size of no more than 15 for grades K-3 (based on a well-documented study from Tennessee). The district would be funded to provide enough teachers to meet that standard. If the district decided to spend the funds elsewhere and have class sizes of 30 for K-3 students, parents and citizens would not have to search very hard to see that disconnect.

    Local control is a cornerstone of public education. It is based on the premise that not every community is alike and needs may differ. It is also based on representative local government — 7 duly elected school board members.

    You are correct that SB 1 does not take away local control. But it certainly sets a standard — unlike the current system — that is there for all to see and evaluate.


  69. - Opiate of the Masses - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    =One thing about SB 1 that gets little attention but probably should since it is Illinois is this: Unlike the current system that disproportionately harms those districts that rely most on state aid when there are cuts to state funding, SB 1 is designed to protect those districts furthest from adequacy if/when there are state cuts.=

    decaf coffee party gets it.


  70. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    ==one of the elements is class size of no more than 15 for grades K-3==

    No one has done a cost estimate for all of the new school buildings that would be needed.

    Pie-in-the-sky elements, with no dedicated funding, will produce nothing.

    If a citizen goes to a school official asking why their school does not have a class size of more than 15 students, the school official will say (1) we do not have the money to build the new classrooms; and (2) we would need Billions statewide for new classrooms from higher State taxes or increased local property taxes.


  71. - Decaf Coffee Party - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    ==No one has done a cost estimate for all of the new school buildings that would be needed. Pie-in-the-sky elements, with no dedicated funding, will produce nothing.==

    I don’t have time to play “What if,” but what I can tell you is the large number of superintendents involved in the evidence-based discussions thought it was doable, not pie-ion-the-sky. Granted, some talked about using creative scheduling techniques to accomplish the goal, but none talked about millions worth of new buildings — and none were ready to just throw in the towel.


  72. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    =none were ready to just throw in the towel==

    Why should they? They stopped the original Manar bill (take money from the richer school districts and give it to the poorer school districts).

    And there will not be the State money to do the 27 elements.

    And there is no attempt to reduce administrative cost.

    And schools will be relieved of restricted funding (such as Special Education Personnel Reimbursement).

    Yes, extreme local control. What school superintendent would not love that?


  73. - Decaf Coffee Party - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==Yes, extreme local control. What school superintendent would not love that?==

    Superintendents are employed by school boards. And local control means by duly elected school boards. I don’t know many, if any, who still believe that Washington or Springfield (heaven help us) should be in charge of local schools. The people who should love local control are the people who live in the communities across Illinois — the people who elect their school board members to represent them.

    BTW, the people who stopped Manar’s bill were the legislators who were never going to vote for the state to take money away from their districts. Even Sen. Manar, the person who more than anyone else has championed changing the formula, realized the Robin Hood concept was not workable politically.


  74. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    =No, we do not. The lack of funding of our current formula, the failure to increase the Foundation level for 9 years, since 2008, means we rely far too much on the property tax, which results in disparate and inequitable funding.

    No matter how many times Manar (and others) say it, the problem is not the formula but the lack of funding.=

    I generally agree with the above.

    The disparity is not created by State Funding, the current formula (state money not local) sends far more money to high poverty districts.

    If poverty was funded separately and not as part of the formula, it could go a long way to solving the problems we face. But that is a nuance that is hard to explain to most since it sounds counter intuitive.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    To Pritzker,

    This is actually really pointed and pithy to the issue…

    ===“After holding this state hostage to force his special interest agenda on Illinois for the last two and a half years, Bruce Rauner has reached a new low as he tries to pit school-children and communities against each other to further divide this state,” said JB Pritzker. “Instead of press stunts and shortsighted attacks, Bruce Rauner should stop treating children and families like political pawns and sign SB1.===

    The 2nd paragraph makes the argument to the confusion of 90% and what’s going on.

    This is really good. This is a focused and pointed release that frames Rauner’s politics in the issue and the lack of governing involved in the failure… and the rationale of hostages, that Rauner alone sees as more important.

    Good stuff.


  76. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    If local schools are funded entirely by local property taxes, then extreme local control would be more appropriate.

    But with State money comes State controls, and with Federal money, Federal controls.

    Over the long-term Illinois will not provide schools with State money without increasing State controls.

    California made the shift to extreme local control more than 5 years ago, and as could be predicted some schools have used it to increase academic achievement, and many have not.

    Most superintendents are very good at keeping their boards under control (as most CEOs of large corporations are, and most University and College Presidents are).


  77. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    =
    Most superintendents are very good at keeping their boards under control (as most CEOs of large corporations are, and most University and College Presidents are).=

    I doubt that was intended as a compliment. Too bad.

    Superintendents are forced to work with the Board and many spend a lot of time managing member behavior.

    You should spend a week with yours and see what really happens.

    We are the liaison between everyone. Trying to referee boards and teachers who all want something but most do not see the full 360 degree perspective of the district.

    I never expected to be everyone’s friend, lots of crappy decisions, especially at times like these.

    I would love, just once, to have a teacher fully understand the whole picture. Teaching is critical to our society, excellent teaching is even more important, but a lot has to happen to make a school go and support teaching. Too bad you don’t realize it is a partnership and not us and them. Your union should teach you that.


  78. - winners and losers - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 5:16 pm:

    ==Most superintendents are very good at keeping their boards under control (as most CEOs of large corporations are, and most University and College Presidents are)==

    Actually it was a compliment as an out-of-control board benefits no one. But that control has negatives.

    My argument is that superintendents naturally want more control given all the pressures of the job.

    But that desire for more control can and does have negative consequences.

    Superintendents vary just as CEOs vary. Some excellent, most good, and some very flawed.

    Most State and Federal school laws came about because of the bad ones.

    Keep guessing as to what I do. So far you are not even close.


  79. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    @Winners and Losers- I shouldn’t have to guess. Too bad you are not upfront.

    We agree on a lot. But I do not attack teachers because of the bad ones I have dealt with.

    Federal laws have as much to do with teachers as anything. Especially IDEA. USSC case law is loaded with cases pertaining to teachers.


  80. - blue dog dem - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 11:33 pm:

    I think my evidence based opinion points to the fact that we give too much money to K-12.


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