A change slipped into this year’s budget, coupled with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed changes to a school funding bill, could add another major financial challenge for area school districts.
As part of the spending plan in July, lawmakers approved shifting the state’s portion of pension costs for all future teachers to local school districts. And as part of his amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, Rauner removed language that would take those added costs into account when determining districts’ financial positions — data that’s used to determine how much they receive in state aid. […]
“We’re talking about millions of dollars — additional millions of dollars — in pension costs,” Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said at a news conference Wednesday to urge local lawmakers to reject Rauner’s proposed changes. “That would be very difficult.” […]
Canton District 66 Superintendent Rolf Sivertsen said he didn’t have an immediate calculation of the cost to his district, but estimated that the effect would run into the millions of dollars. […]
“If there is no levy with it, it’ll be financial ruin, and the governor will own that,” Sivertsen said. […]
If the governor’s amendatory veto is approved, efforts to move toward more adequate and equitable school funding will be “obsolete the very day that Tier 3 is created,” Michael Jacoby, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, wrote in an emailed response.
Online criticism of this specific aspect of Gov. Rauner’s AV was what got his policy director all fired up on Wednesday, by the way.
* 2020 Could Have School Districts Seeing Red