Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Purvis does it again *** Purvis partially blames Comptroller Mendoza for coming school crisis
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*** UPDATED x1 - Purvis does it again *** Purvis partially blames Comptroller Mendoza for coming school crisis

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Gov. Rauner’s education czar Beth Purvis was on Steve Cochrane’s radio show this morning

PURVIS: In addition, the comptroller has not yet released the Q3 and Q4 what are called mandatory categorical payments. The schools are owed about $850 million from FY17. And so we also call on the comptroller to release at least those Q3 dollars so that schools have the cash on hand that they need to open their doors.

COCHRANE: Why did she not release that?

PURVIS: That is a question for the comptroller. We believe that, and I think there have been conversations with her from many people saying she can at least release those Q3 dollars. Again, Q3 and Q4 the districts across the state for their mandated categorical payments, which is serving students with disabilities, serving English language learners, transportation, transportation for special education students. So when you add what is now a 56 or 57-day delay [in sending SB 1 to the governor’s desk] and the fact that the comptroller will not release those Q3 and Q4 payments, it is creating a crisis in all 850, well, not all, in those districts that serve a high percentage of low income kids, including the Chicago Public Schools, and those districts, who, because of proration of General State Aid or the fact that the General Assembly did not fully fund the schools from 2009 to 2015, a lot of them have burned through their cash reserves, so this cash flow issue is a really big one.

COCHRANE: Nobody runs a business like this. How can you run, you know, politicians standing up and going ‘Oh, it’s the kids, it’s all about the kids.’ Kiss my butt. It’s all about the kids, you care about yourself. And let me tell you something, when it comes to the comptroller, gimme an e-mail address Andrea for the comptroller so that we can let every listener know that they should be e-mailing the comptroller today and demanding an answer for why those Q3-Q4 payments haven’t been released, and when will they be…

* From the comptroller’s office…

If creating havoc for the State of Illinois was a form of art, Governor Bruce Rauner would be Michelangelo. Just three weeks removed from a narrowly-avoided statewide financial meltdown, he’s back at work on his latest masterpiece, plunging the state into a school funding crisis, and blaming everyone but himself.

Governor Rauner more than tripled the state’s bill backlog from $5 billion to $15.4 billion since taking office. Despite Governor Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis, our office prioritized putting together $429 million last month to make a delayed categorical payment to schools around the state. As of today, the state’s checkbook balance is only $254 million. The Governor has not left enough money in the state’s accounts for another categorical payment to happen again soon. Falsely blaming our office for not making payments from a bank account he emptied is like a check-bouncer blaming the bank for bouncing his check.

Thanks to the General Assembly overriding his veto and passing a budget, our office has been able to use dedicated funds — funds that can’t be used for K-12 education — to provide much-needed relief to higher education and Medicaid. General State Aid (GSA) to K-12 schools cannot be paid through interfund borrowing or through the General Revenue Fund (GRF) without a school funding bill being passed to authorize those expenditures.

This misinformation campaign coordinated by the Rauner Administration is the height of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, we have seen this playbook before. The governor needs to stop the political spin, do his job, and stop holding schools hostage. School funding legislation must be sent to the governor and he needs to sign it so I have the legal authority to release critical funds for schools.

In other words, you can’t pay big bills with a nearly empty checking account.

*** UPDATE ***  Purvis tried it again at the Sun-Times today

In an interview with the Sun-Times on Monday, Education Secretary Beth Purvis noted vouchers were submitted to the comptroller’s office on time by the Illinois State Board of Education and implored Mendoza to “prioritize” the payment the same way she prioritized post-secondary education payments.

Purvis said that payment would alleviate some pressure — without a school funding bill in place. The governor and Democratic leaders continue to bicker about that measure, with Rauner vowing to issue an amendatory veto to take out Chicago pension costs.

The comptroller’s office released about $429 million for “categoricals” a month ago. But another quarterly payment is delayed because there’s no revenue in the books yet to pay for it.

Mendoza on Thursday pinned the blame for the delayed payment — and the budget impasse — squarely on Rauner’s back.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - How Ironic - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    Darn that comptroller that Rauner doesn’t control!

  2. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    === If creating havoc for the State of Illinois (while blaming everyone else as well as claiming to be a victim) was a form of art, Governor Bruce Rauner would be Michelangelo.===

    There, fixed it for ya’ Madam Comptroller.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    Not so good with the math, that “education czar.”

    I imagine she banks her $200K+ redundant, ghost payroller checks just fine.

  4. - Flippy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:


  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    ===And so we also call on the comptroller to release at least those Q3 dollars so that schools have the cash on hand that they need to open their doors.===

    To hear Purvis tell it, she must have been absent the day her boss vetoed the budget. If Governor Rauner had his way and the over-ride failed, who would Purvis be blaming then?

    Right. Madigan, the guy who, with the help of some brave HGOPs, pushed through the funding that Purvis is now demanding be spent.

    Irony, or how stupid do they think we are? I guess this is why Dr. Purvis is the last surviving Superstar. She represents the DHS money ever mis-spent.

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    *best* DHS money…

  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    90% of me thinks Dr. Purvis might be best at getting parades figured out like Gov. Lingle.

    I don’t think Dr. Purvis would pass high school Consumer Ed, but I digress…

  8. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    Ah the voice of compromise belches again….hope that doesn’t offend the Dept of Groceries

  9. - FTR - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    Remember when Beth Purvis was viewed as a non-partisan, education policy wonk? Those days are long gone.

    I can’t say I blame her. Being the governors attack dog pays much better (like a quarter mill a year.)

  10. - walker - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    ==you can’t pay big bills with a nearly empty checking account.==

    OK. Does that mean that no matter what happened with SB!, delays or not, we still couldn’t pay the schools right now? When and how will this happen if we get past this school funding bills impasse next week?

  11. - South of Sherman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    Great job, Cochrane, for unquestioningly accepting anything the governor’s office tells you. There’s certainly no reason to ever doubt their word on anything, so you should absolutely take whatever they say as gospel.

    And we wonder why we get the quality of government that we have…

  12. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    Is Purvus working for the governors re-election campaign on state time?

  13. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    Purvis is the shill we know she is. (Channeling my inner Dennis Green voice)

    Good response from Mendoza folks, but work on getting to the message out more succinctly.

  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    ===we still couldn’t pay the schools right now?===

    Unclear, but the next GSA payment isn’t due until August 10.

  15. - Sonny - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    I know they wouldn’t let her talk at the Governor’s press conference the other day while the leaders were mansplainin’ educatin’, but how does the superstar education secretary say this stuff with a straight face? Was this her audition to see if she can return to prime time after her 90 percent fall from grace?

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    - sharkette -

    Explain the monies that are required now by a federal judge and making those payments, by court order.

    How does that factor in… in your comment.

  17. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Is it just me or does Rauner seem to keep losing the rnd when he tries to attack the comptroller

  18. - Captain Ed Smith - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    Staffer Purvis should not be criticizing a state constitutional officer. Rauner continues to use others to do the dirty work.

  19. - Echo The Bunnyman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Can we assume she would be fired if they have not lost so many recently? A friend that met her early on remarked that someone who is pushing accountability sure is not accountable. Simple sometimes is good. Seems that jacket fits.

  20. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===you apparently didn’t like me calling mikey the fuhrer===

    Is that you, Brittany?

  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===Is that you, Brittany?===

    - 47th Ward - wins.

    In the words of Gov. Rauner, “it’s fine”.

    It’s a punchline now, but “it’s fine”.

    To Dr. Purvis,

    It would be interesting if Dr. Purvis could explain the judicial mandates and how a checkbook works.

    If Dr. Purvis isn’t allowed to speak to education or SB1, I’d like to see something math related come from this.

  22. - Sonny - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    How about -24 superstars - 1 superstar equals how many superstars?

  23. - Rod - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    Rich your answer at 11:54 AM is totally correct. It is unclear whether or not SB 1 becomes law what actual money will flow through to school districts and in what time frame. However having SB 1 in place would allow many school districts to more easily float state aid anticipation notes. It will also clarify the funding situation for CPS and force them to use actual appropriation numbers as opposed to supposed appropriations.

    I am glad President Cullerton has indicated he plans to forward SB 1 to the Governor on Monday for his AV, so we can get on with the override voting. I am unclear as to why he wants to wait until Monday, why not today?

  24. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    Unless Cochrane talks to Mendoza or at least reads her response on the air, the win goes to Purvis because that’s all the listeners heard.

    With respect to the underlying question, I am a school board member and looked into the payment of mandated categoricals back in March. It’s easy to look up: ISBE sends the vouchers to the Comptroller’s office and they are put in line with all of the other vouchers. When they get to the front of the line and the money is available, they are paid out. Pretty simple.

    Mr. Cochrane needs to have his staff at least look this stuff up before he starts spouting off. If they were too lazy to go on-line they could have called up the Comptroller’s office and asked.

  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    –Mr. Cochrane needs to have his staff at least look this stuff up before he starts spouting off–

    LOL, that’s not how talk radio works.

    They’re “entertainers.”

  26. - DeseDemDose - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    Cochrane and Brady are just paid WGN Republican baloney boys. They are the radio version of Kass and the Tronc Tribune.

  27. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    Purvis loves to find a friendly ear and blame Mendoza the Comptroller when asked about MCATS. Funny things is, that when Munger wasn’t paying there wasn’t a peep.

    Of course neither of the comptrollers had the money but the Raunerites never let the truth get in the way of Messagin’.

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