* This is either the closest thing we’ll ever see to a Bruce Rauner admission that he made a mistake or just a bit of gubernatorial misdirection…
Lawmakers are not expected to uphold the changes the governor made with his amendatory veto, but he is pushing for them to do just that, despite lingering uncertainties.
Rauner has been asked to explain why he didn’t discuss his proposed changes earlier. For weeks, he toured the state urging Democratic leaders to send him the education bill, so he could issue an amendatory veto. He didn’t specify what changes he wanted to make, but repeatedly blasted the existing bill as a “Chicago bailout.”
On Wednesday, reporters asked the governor whether it was a mistake to not have publicly discussed changes earlier — especially since an analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education is being re-tabulated based on a data error. State aid payments to school districts were to be sent out on Aug. 10 — but the state needs an “evidence-based” school funding formula approved before it can release those funds, per an agreement Democratic leaders inserted into a budget package.
“I’ll never claim to be a perfect person. Never have been, never will be. I don’t know anybody who is perfect,” Rauner said. “We can all try to do better. But let’s be clear. There is no legitimate reason for the General Assembly to have sat on that education bill for two months doing nothing. No excuse. From here we need to try to move quickly,” Rauner said, urging lawmakers to uphold his amendatory veto.
It’s difficult to disagree with the governor on the Senate’s decision to hold the bill for so long. But it’s also difficult to understand why he didn’t release his AV language weeks ago so that we’re not sitting around waiting for the Illinois State Board of Education to revamp its numbers after the Department of Revenue’s mistake.
* Meanwhile, the Ottawa Times editorial board takes up the issue of ISBE’s policy of allowing only the “sponsor” of a school funding reform bill to release the board’s numbers crunching…
When we called the state board’s PR person, she acknowledged an open records request would force the state board to release the documents, but that process can take five business days — a long time when financially struggling schools are set to open in a few days.
We wonder why the board must show such deference to politicians.
Here’s a better idea: Show deference to taxpayers — the folks who pay state board employees to do the analysis.
As soon as the board completes a study, it should post the results on its website. It can give a courtesy call to the governor to let him know it’s online. And he can view it there along with the rest of us.
When analyzing school funding bills, the state school board should see itself as a version of the Congressional Budget Office. In Washington, this agency scores legislation without any special courtesy for either Democrats or Republicans.
On the one hand, I agree. On the other hand, however, ISBE is often asked to score preliminary proposals. Those proposals are quite often revamped when ISBE’s results show problems.