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Wall St. Journal praises Rauner, but calls school bill a Chicago “bailout”

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017

* From the WSJ editorial board

Illinois residents have watched for years as their taxes go up while public services and schools deteriorate. But GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner will deliver Prairie Staters some good news Thursday by signing into law an inaugural state private-school choice program.

The Democratic legislature this week approved a $100 million tax-credit scholarship program along with a new school funding formula that provides an additional $450 million for the insolvent Chicago Public Schools. The Governor earlier this summer vetoed legislation that appropriated $300 million more for Chicago schools, but Democrats lacked the votes to override him.

Mr. Rauner demanded a private school tax-credit scholarship program in return for his signature, and Democrats ultimately conceded despite union protests. Illinois businesses and individuals will receive a 75% tax credit for donations that support scholarships for low-income kids to attend private schools. […]

As for Chicago, most of the state bailout will go toward propping up the teachers’ pension fund, which is 50% funded.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    “Rauner Praised for Chicago Bailout”

    That’s fun.

  2. - Huh? - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    “Mr. Rauner demanded a private school tax-credit scholarship program in return for his signature”

    1.4% wanted another deduction to offset the increased income tax.

  3. - Skeptic - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    I was thinking about this last night, Rauner called Chicago schools “crumbling prisons” (or words to that effect) but has fought tooth and nail against money to fix the problems. Go figure.

  4. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    Demanded a private school voucher for his signature?
    I thought Avery Bourne told us something different yesterday.
    It’s still decent press from the WSJ who has not been a kind critic of the Gov.

  5. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Somebody at the Wall Street Journal has a good sense of humor…cause “Rauner Praised for Chicago Bailout” will make it on all kinds of mail pieces downstate.

  6. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    The irony is rich. But positive national press for Rauner (and Illinois) isn’t limited to the WSJ and this issue. The NYT has an editorial lauding the automatic voter registration act as an example for other states to follow:

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    The great Robert Novak of Joliet once said that when he was a reporter at WSJ he saw it as his job to write stories that exposed the edit board as clueless fools.

    If you read the WSJ, you can see reporters continue to do that. Some tronc reporters do that to their edit board on a regular basis as well.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    “Rauner Praised for Chicago Bailout” is pithy, I just hope that phrasing by the WSJ captures the spirit of the thing, lol

  9. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    The WSJ edit. board is either a) willfully ignorant or b) willfully deceitful. Those are the choices.

    ===The Democratic legislature this week approved===

    So there were no ‘yes’ votes from Repubs. on this?

  10. - PhD - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Is it a bailout when a state government increases funding to a local government activity that it historically underfunded? No.

    When the Federal government takes over a private business like AIG, that is a bailout. The WSJ should use accurate terminology.

  11. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    - Cubs in ‘16 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    Give ‘em a break, they’re editorial writers after all!

  12. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Most of those poor downstate republicans are going to get hit with…”They voted against funding the schools in our area (SB 6 & 9), then turned around and bailed out Chicago (SB 1947).”

  13. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    @Cubs in ‘16

    I don’t know if they are willfully ignorant. They are just ignorant, like most folks even here in Illinois, that Chicago teacher pensions are treated differently than every other school districts’ pensions. But once again, it is national writers lack of understanding state and local issues.

  14. - We'll See - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    WSJ praising a Republican Gov… the editor in chief’s message to staff is getting through.

  15. - Big Joe - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Great “Slapshot” reference, Willy! If Dickie Dunn wrote it, it must be true. Thanks for the morning laugh.

  16. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:01 am:


    I think when an edit board writes an op-ed piece about legislation it’s their duty to know details like how teacher pensions are funded. The fact they didn’t bother to educate themselves makes it willful in my mind.

  17. - PhD - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    == I don’t know if they are willfully ignorant. ==

    Fact check as repeatedly debunked claim about CPS pension bailout. There are only two options that remain: 1) willful ignorance or 2) active misrepresentation.

  18. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    “Some tronc reporters do that to their edit board on a regular basis as well.”

    That’s true of pretty much every Trib reporter who writes about the same subjects as their editorial board.

    – MrJM

  19. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    I guess “for years” is a technically accurate way of saying “once, then slightly lower.”

  20. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    IMO any national article that, on cursory read (which is how this mostly will be read) might make IL look less broken and crazy to the outside world and especially to business investors, is pretty much a plus.

  21. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Authors of propaganda pieces don’t worry about accuracy. Their purpose is to vilify opponents to gain support.

  22. - Ron - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Chicago has been bailing out the rest of the state for decades. This isn’t a bail out of CPS.

  23. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    CPS at 50%.
    TRS at 37.6% - as of Nov, 2016.

    And that is Apples to Apples.

  24. - DuPage - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Nothing Rauner can do to redeem himself for all the damage he has done to Illinois. The damage he has done to the state universities and the community colleges will take many years to recover from, some may not even survive.

  25. - igotgotgotgotnotime - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    WSJ must have missed Gov. Junk’s wide-eyed -it’s-not-a-bailout-anymore victory lap.

  26. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch and family along with Fox News etc. Billionaires take care of their own.

  27. - Really ctu - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    I vote to make Chicago it’s own state so we can lower the rest of illinois taxes

  28. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===I vote to make Chicago it’s own state so we can lower the rest of illinois taxes ===


    Ignorance is such bliss. Maybe that Ameren consultant was right /s

  29. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    You mean Chicago can get two senators all to ourselves and fund CPS with literally our own money without permission from downstate?

    Where do I sign up?

  30. - Ron - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    “I vote to make Chicago it’s own state so we can lower the rest of illinois taxes”

    You mean I don’t have to pay for CPS teachers pensions and the rest of the states?

    I don’t have to send more of my income taxes to Springfield than we get back>

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