Rauner To Make Decision On School Funding Technical Bill | WGLT

Rauner To Make Decision On School Funding Technical Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn’t been the most predictable when it comes to funding public schools.

He vetoed a major funding reform bill in August because it gave Chicago Public Schools too much money, then turned around and signed a compromise measure that sent even more money to CPS.

Now that there’s another funding reform bill on Rauner’s desk, legislators are unsure which direction the governor will take.

The 500-page bill was originally approved in August, but last week, lawmakers approved a small change to the bill to make sure property values continue to be figured the same way as before.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, said the changes simply involved a few technicalities that needed to be clarified.  

“This I would describe as simply clarification language that’s technical in nature that is at the request of the State Board of Education so that they can see through the law that we passed,” Manar said.

Legislators wanted the law to match the spreadsheets they’d voted upon, but 11 Republicans voted against the change.

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said he voted against it because he wanted to see how the numbers would have played out without the change.

“We always said we want to see numbers before we do things,” Barickman said. “So we didn’t make a big deal out of it today. I don’t think it is a big deal, but it would’ve been nice to stick to the process.”

Barickman also indicated he had given up trying to predict the governor’s actions when asked whether or not he thought Rauner would sign the bill.

There are other such bills yet to come, the biggest being a bill that would give state funding to pre-kindergarten English learners. Lawmakers will likely address that topic in January.