* Remember on Monday when Gov. Rauner said school superintendents were scared of the “tyrant” Speaker Madigan and that’s why they were supporting SB 1? These superintendents don’t sound all that scared…
Superintendents from across the state, along with dozens of teachers, students, and parents, gathered at Brighton North Elementary School to show their strong support for SB 1. Many superintendents said the state already owes them money from previous years, resulting in program and personnel cuts and job losses.
“If the state of Illinois delays or quits sending our general state aid, I don’t think people realize that our district, Bethalto Unit 8, could not stay open for more than one month if general state aid would stop flowing,” said Dr. Jill Griffin, Bethalto School District Superintendent.
Mark Skertich, superintendent of the Southwestern Illinois School District, which includes Bethalto public schools, said his district would be forced to make more deep cuts if SB-1 isn’t signed into law soon.
“We believe all children should receive an adequate and equitable education and we expect a new funding formula does not include winners and losers. Senate Bill 1 is the only bill poised to become law and advocates for call children,” Skertich said.
* Neither do these…
Meanwhile, Superintendent Mike Gauch from Harrisburg Unit 3 said he worked on SB1 for years and supports it, even with extra money for teacher pensions in Chicago.
“When SB1 was created, the thought was that all school children in Illinois would be created equal and be treated equally across the board,” said Gauch. “And one of those things that was brought up was the fact that all schools in Illinois get state funding to pay pensions and Chicago is not one of those schools.”
And superintendent Gauch has lots of company supporting SB1.
“Should they not accomplish their work to fund schools, it would be a sad day for our state that our governor and general assembly would hold our kids hostage,” said Superintendent Keith Oates from Marion Unit 2
* More here…
Lake County school superintendents hope a new state funding formula will promise more equity among all school districts, regardless of their zip code.
“No district loses money, I can tell you from my districts prospective in particular it was important for us to make sure there was no Robin Hood scenario going on,” said Brian Harris, superintendent of Barrington 220 School District.
On Monday, Harris stood with superintendents from poorer school districts urging Gov. Rauner to sign SB 1, a bill that changes the funding formula to an evidence-based system which means lower-income districts, who don’t have a strong property base, will no longer be short changed.
* Two more…
“We need a funding formula,” Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb said. “It’s too critical for schools not to have any funding. The money’s been allocated, and with the new income tax, the money is there for schools, so it would be a shame if they didn’t do something.”
Pikeland School District Superintendent Paula Hawley agreed.
“The bottom line is, we need some way to get this funding to the schools as soon as possible,” Hawley said. “We need to have general state aid coming in in a timely manner starting in August, when it’s supposed to. Senate Bill 1 is the best way to get it to us right now. They have to figure out the politics in Chicago, but don’t penalize us in the meantime.”
* Another one…
Connie Collins, superintendent of Round Lake Area School District 116, said it is urgent the governor signs the bill so districts could have the certainty to open their doors in time for the start of school next month. About 82.5 percent of District 116 students are from low-income families.
* But Cary Grade School District 26 Board President Scott Coffey is not a fan…
Its easy to forecast that we’ll end up in exactly the same place as was projected under the original SB-1, with suburban districts as the “Losers” and low-income/downstate districts as the winners.
* Editorial boards…
* News-Gazette editorial: Send S.B. 1 to governor: There’s no reason Gov. Rauner and Democrats could not have worked out their differences, or still can’t, to reach a compromise.
* Tribune editorial: Illinois governor candidates should ‘campaign’ by getting things done: That’s why it is imperative for lawmakers and Rauner to recognize they’re still on the clock and expected to deliver results — solutions — even in an intense election season. They have a job to do and it isn’t getting themselves re-elected. They work for us.
* SJ-R editorial: Lawmakers need to get moving on school funding reform: Earlier this month we called on Cullerton, Madigan and Rauner to put aside partisan politics and work together for the betterment of Illinois. School funding would be a great place to start.
* Mark Brown: Republican Andersson who broke ranks on budget undecided on school bill
* CTBA: Senate Bill 1124—An Inequitable Alternative to SB 1
* Press release: Gov. Rauner to lawmakers: “Send me the education funding bill now”