* Pritzker campaign…
Yesterday, Bruce Rauner released a new ad featuring his wife Diana, highlighting the couple’s “passion for education.” But lately Rauner’s only passion is causing crises and distorting his own record. The reality is that Bruce Rauner continues to intentionally cut programs that help children and families build better lives.
Let’s take a look at Bruce Rauner’s real record on education:
Due to Rauner’s 736-day budget crisis, Illinois is over $1 billion behind in paying school districts money they were promised.
Hundreds of public university employees were laid off and dozens of programs were cut after Rauner failed to pass a budget for two years.
Rauner proposed a 20% cut to higher education and a 31.5% cut to universities in his 2015 budget proposal.
The ad claims Rauner “increased early childhood education to its highest level ever,” but in reality he proposed a $338.5 million cut to the Childcare Assistance Program in 2016 and decimated the program with his 2015 Emergency Rule, cutting off 90% of previously eligible families.
This month, Bruce Rauner vetoed the entire FY18 Illinois State Board of Education budget worth $11.9 billion, including:
$443.7 million for the Early Childhood Block grant.
$29 million in additional funding for bilingual education.
$387.6 million for disabled student transportation.
$135.2 million for disabled student tuition.
$262.9 million in transportation reimbursement.
$15 million for afterschool programs.
$1.4 million for the parent mentoring program.
$2.4 million in technology for success.
$846,000 for blind and dyslexic services.
$3.1 million for district consolidation costs and supplemental payments for school districts.
$100,000 for autism training and technical assistance.
$9 million in reimbursement for free breakfast and lunch programs.
$1.4 million for the visually impaired and educational materials coordinating unit.
$38 million for career and technical education.
$11.5 million for truant alternative and optional education program.
$6.3 million for alternative education and regional safe schools.
$5 million for agriculture education program.
$2.4 million for Afterschool Matters.
$500,000 for advanced placement classes.
$1 million for the lowest performing schools.
“Fresh off vetoing the entire education budget, this governor is ready to allow schools not to open next month. There is nothing ‘right’ about what Bruce Rauner is doing to Illinois schoolchildren,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “No amount of messaging, distortion, and validation is going to change the fact that this governor is failing in his basic obligation to ensure Illinois children receive a quality education.”
The childcare program and early childhood education are separate beings, but wrapping that veto around him isn’t a bad play.
* Mark Brown: Downstate knows more about its schools than first lady does
* Diana Rauner appears in new ad praising governor’s support for education