* The Chicago Teachers Union is considering some very risky legal options…
If the union successfully challenged the tax credits, the entire school funding measure would be “invalid” under a provision lawmakers inserted into the legislation. That would include the new money authorized for CPS.
Previously, an Illinois Appellate Court in 2001 upheld a state income tax credit of up to $500 for parents for paying “qualified educational expenses” that exceed $250 for the education of children in K-12 private schools.
The credit was challenged based on the state constitution prohibiting government money for religious purposes, including a ban on spending to “aid” or “to help support or sustain any school” that is “controlled by any church or sectarian denomination.”
In its 2001 ruling, the Appellate Court noted that a tax credit “does not constitute public funds” received by the government. Instead, “it merely allows people to keep more of their own money.”
So, if the CTU does file a lawsuit and it’s successful (which seems doubtful, but whatever), then the entire evidence based model would be enjoined and $7 billion in state school funding would be halted.
Over a $75 million pilot project.
*** UPDATE *** ILGOP…
“The Chicago Teachers Union has a long history of brinkmanship and intransigence, and their refusal to accept the bipartisan school funding compromise is no different. CTU’s opposition to a five-year, $75 million tax credit scholarship pilot program is not only unreasonable, it puts the education of millions of Illinois schoolchildren at risk. We implore them to try something different for a change - be reasonable and support compromise.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
The Chicago Teacher’s Union is threatening legal action over the new evidence-based school funding formula that received bipartisan support just because it contains Illinois’ first-ever school choice pilot program.
If successful, their latest temper tantrum would block Illinois schools from receiving over $7 billion dollars in state funding all in the name of brinkmanship and refusal to compromise.
Democrat gubernatorial candidates are already jumping on board with Chicago Teachers Union in yet another example of Chicago Democrats kowtowing to CTU regardless of how unreasonable they’re position is.
Daniel Biss and Pritzker-running mate Julianna Stratton actually voted against the school funding compromise, opting instead to protect the status quo and their own political interests.
J.B. Pritzker himself has said he would’ve voted no, and Chris Kennedy’s campaign has even been fundraising on taking educational opportunities away from underprivileged kids.
Once again, the Chicago Teachers Union says jump, and the Democrats ask ‘how high,’ all to the detriment of Illinois schoolchildren.
* Bernard Schoenburg: Sen. Manar pushed school funding changes for years: But Manar had known of the problem for a much longer time. It was when he was in college, in the mid-1990s, he recalls, that he accompanied his mentor, the late state Sen. VINCE DEMUZIO, D-Carlinville, to hear a speech on the need for school funding changes from then-Gov. JIM EDGAR, a Republican. It was in 1997 that the last major revision to school funding in the state was passed, Manar said.