* From a late Friday afternoon Rauner administration press release…
A compromise negotiated this week has paved the way for more Illinois schools to participate in the Invest in Kids scholarship tax-credit program, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today. The move leaves the General Assembly clear to act swiftly to fully implement the requested cleanups to the state’s historic funding law. […]
The compromise announced today allows ISBE to notify IDOR in real time as new schools become recognized, eliminating the lag time that prevented schools from participating in this program.
Earlier this month, the governor used his amendatory veto power to address an issue that prevented a number of schools from participating in invest in kids; they had not achieved “recognition” status by the Illinois State Board of Education in time.
* The Tribune’s Kim Geiger explains…
But it’s an election year, and Rauner is running as Illinois’ education governor, with the funding formula bill as his signature achievement. His State of the State speech is Wednesday.
So the governor “negotiated” a “compromise” with his own education agency.
As it turns out, changing the funding formula bill wasn’t necessary to achieve the governor’s objective of making more schools eligible for the new tax credit program. All that was needed was for the State Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the governor, to start accepting applications for the tax credit program on a rolling basis throughout the school year. ISBE agreed to do that, and thus the “compromise” was struck.
To the degree that members of the General Assembly have any role to play in the deal, Rauner now wants them to re-pass the legislation he vetoed. Or, as the governor put it in his announcement, “the move leaves the General Assembly clear to act swiftly to fully implement” the bill it already passed once. (It could do that by overriding his veto.)
* Speaking of the governor’s State of the State…
Kent Redfield, retired professor of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he expects Rauner will talk about education funding, early childhood education and criminal justice reform as accomplishments during the speech.
“Everything gets dicey beyond that,” he said. “He’s certainly not going to take a victory lap in terms we normally think of that.”