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FOIA reveals how Rauner calculated his school funding numbers

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* The governor has never been able to specify just how he arrived at the district-by-district numbers in his school funding reform plan. From the other day

REPORTER: Did ISBE score this version of your amendatory veto?

RAUNER: Uh, I don’t know. We, we’ve done the calculations.

REPORTER: Who is we?

RAUNER: Our administration in conjunction with, uh, our legislators and in conjunction with, uh, school officials.

* And then Bill Brady tried his hand at an explanation that turned out to be false

Another topic Rauner sidestepped today was whether the Illinois State Board of Education had run the numbers on his plan. State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) stepped to the microphone to state that ISBE analyzes only legislation, not proposals.

Via email, ISBE spokesperson Jackie Mathews later offered this explanation for the confusion: “ISBE will produce an analysis for legislation before it is filed but will make the analysis public only at the request of the bill sponsor. An analysis is considered draft until the bill is filed.”

* As it turns out, there’s a simple explanation. Dusty Rhodes had to file a FOIA to get it, however

When lawmakers want to see how a school funding bill would work out, they ask the Illinois State Board of Education to build a simulation or model. But on June 26th — the Monday after House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) held a press conference to demand that Rauner sign the school funding bill known as Senate Bill 1 — ISBE received “multiple requests” for new models showing varying appropriation levels. To expedite matters, the board’s legislative liaison, Amanda Elliott, sent an email to several staffers in both parties with a detailed plug-and-play diagram attached, showing them how to build their own school funding simulations using models already published on […]

​NPR Illinois obtained the email through the Freedom of Information Act.

So, why the need for sloppy answers and secrecy? Couldn’t they have just said right off the bat how they arrived at their numbers? Sheesh.

Better messaging, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Reality Check - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    Or maybe less “messaging” and more “honesty”.

  2. - Montrose - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Rauner was being asked about a detail. The man treats details like the plague. He didn’t know the answer because knowing details is below his pay grade.

  3. - Whatever - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    Beat Team in America.

  4. - JoanP - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the reason for Rauner’s “sloppy answers” is that he actually didn’t know. Details are for peons.

  5. - Shark Sandwich - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    That Excel slide show stuff is fun. Just needs a little Clippy pop-up saying “It looks like you are trying to cook the books. Would you like some more recipes?”

  6. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Cut Rauner some slack on this. When you’re telling two or three fibs a press conference you have to be really careful about revealing the source of you b.s.


  7. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Campaigning is all about the messaging. Governing is all about the details. Rauner has shown zero interest in actual governing. And when called to task he reverts to campaign mode. Not all that different than the guy in Washington. He just doesn’t seem quite as unhinged or prone to tweeting. But he’s making progress in that regard.

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    Lazy. ‘Big Picture’ guys don’t piddle with actual work required to be competent.

  9. - Langhorne - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    Messaging is the only readily available answer for rauner.
    Honesty and accuracy matter little.

    He doesnt prep, and doesnt seem willing to be coached.
    That staff is gone.

  10. - no name - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    so rauner’s all star team doesn’t know basic excel?

  11. - Jocko - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    Props to Dusty. Has he (or anyone else) figured out how Bruce came up with his “500 million for CPS” talking point?

  12. - Winnin' - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:


  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===Has he===


  14. - Mugsy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    So Team Rauner could be just plugging in whatever numbers they want to manipulate the spreadsheet. “Don’t you see how outrageous that is?”

  15. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

  16. - simon - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    Part of me thinks that Rauner is checked out and may not run. Could be wishful thinking.

  17. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    –He doesnt prep, and doesnt seem willing to be coached.
    That staff is gone.–

    Rauner failed on details under previous staff, too. Since the beginning, Cullerton has regularly and publicly lampooned Rauner’s lack of preparation and understanding of issues during leaders’ meetings.

    His incompetence on details is nothing new.

  18. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==So, why the need for sloppy answers and secrecy?==

    Well, because we still don’t really know how they arrived at those figures. We know the software they used, but not what they inputted. My bet is still on “made up”.

  19. - Rod - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    The Chicago Tribune was able to do a similar analysis several weeks ago but only discussed the impact on CPS. See Darrick, H and Geiger, K. (July 13, 2017) “Rauner-CPS feud could hold up school money for rest of state”. I am unclear if the Tribune used this ISBE model for its analysis. This type of excel spread sheet model and variants of it has been around for years and has been used by advocacy groups, unions, school districts, lobbyists, and researchers.

  20. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    “Hey, GovJunk Turn in Your Homework”
    Tee Hee. BTW could someone stand outside the winery and ask when he plans to do the bond deal for old bills? Remember 2 or 3% cheaper than 12%

  21. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    I was expecting that the FOIA would just say “Rauner made a xerox of his backside.”

  22. - LouLecture - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    Does ISBE have consultants working on the formula?

  23. - Rod - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 4:40 pm:

    At one point an ISBE staff member by the name of
    Timothy Imler was division administrator for Funding and Disbursements was directly involved in developing the excel spread sheets ISBE uses. There is a staff which is listed here

    It is possible outside consultants may also be contracted in this area.

  24. - CommonCents - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    If you want people to take your issues “reporting” seriously, you should leave vocal tics and vocal fillers out of your quotes. If you want to make it clear that you’re not reporting on the content or message, and that you’re actually attacking the speaker ad hominem, by all means, add in those fillers and tics.

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