At issue is Senate Bill 1, a measure passed by the legislature to move IL to an "evidence-based model" of education funding, which would take into account each district's individual needs, as well as its local revenue sources, when appropriating state aid - prioritizing districts that are furthest from being fully-funded.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the measure's passage - with 73 votes, hours after initially failing with only 46 votes - "as an education funding plan that provides parity and stability for children across IL".
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (R) said the bill "does not turn IL into a sanctuary state".
"This is a good bill for us I think". Although school officials have said they will be able to open classrooms for the new school year, many districts have anxious they would run out of money if a plan wasn't approved soon. Without state money, school officials have said they will be able to open classrooms for the new school year, but many districts worry they will run out of money if the impasse isn't resolved soon. Second, new state funds will be distributed to ensure that those districts with the largest gap between current spending and adequacy will be funded first.
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State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said the legislation would "restore confidence in taxpayers that they are no longer being asked to contribute to an ineffective and inefficient school funding system". The plan was hammered out by legislative leaders in closed-door meetings.
The legislation also provides money to help Chicago Public Schools make payments to its teacher pension funds, as IL does for other districts, and gives districts relief from some state mandates, such as allowing them to offer fewer days of physical education each week.
Meridian Superintendent Dan Brue said he accepts that some compromise is necessary, although he doesn't support the tax credit.
In addition, the measure includes $75 million tuition tax credit program that would offer families scholarships to send their children to private or parochial schools - or to pay the cost to send their sons or daughters to a public school outside their home school district, officials said. "I know that I had one school that indicated to me that they would be closing sometime around the third week in September if they didn't get this funding".
Some of Illinois' largest teacher unions accused Rauner, who used his veto powers on an earlier school funding bill, of using students "as leverage for private school tax credits". Contributions can be directed toward a specific school, but not students or groups of students. He thanked Rauner "for keeping his promise to sign this legislation", but gave credit for the bill's success to the advocates who'd pushed for it over the years.
Earlier this year, Democrats approved separate legislation that overhauled Illinois' school funding system.
The Illinois Senate voted to override Rauner's changes, with one Republican joining majority Democrats. The State House of Representatives voted down Senate Bill 1947 Monday night before reconvening an hour later to pass the measure. This vote required 71 votes to override, but it came up short, only garnering 63 votes in support of the override.