Beth Purvis is the high priced (annual salary: $250,000) education advisor to Governor Rauner. Over the weekend she said that even though her boss likes 90% of the legislature’s school funding bill, Rauner will probably veto it.
Purvis says the Governor thinks it favors Chicago unfairly.
That rings true. Anything that funds the needs of poor kids in Chicago is ripe for a veto by Rauner.
Plus it helps CPS pay back teacher pensions that they have ripped off for dozens of years. That is a penison that goes to union teachers.
Rauner doesn’t like that either.
There is plenty that smells about this school funding bill. None of the smelly part has to do with sending more dollars back to Chicago.
Chicago and Cook County have most of the poor students in the state and the state has always underfunded our schools.
The Democrats who support the bill have thrown in the towel on adequate funding. They will not fight for a revenue system adequately funding the state’s schools or anything else.
This is aside from the scandal of three years without a budget.
The other reason for Rauner vetoing a bill he supports is that he is using that threat to get Democrats to cave on the budget issues.
The Democrats who support the bill say that they are moving dollars to those districts, Chicago and downstate, whose are forced to rely on local property taxes to pay for public schools.
This is a fundamentally evil system that provides adequate funding for schools to those who are rich enough to have the dollars to pay for them.
But this bill does nothing to address this lack of adequacy. It is like cutting a cup cake into bigger and smaller sizes when what is needed is a big multi-layer cake of funding. They are re-dividing the crumbs.
Adequate funding can only come when the wealthy pay their share for all the state’s schools.
You can’t have real equity without adequacy.
The Democrats who sponsor and support Senate Bill 1 swear there will be $3.5 Billion in new money over the next decade.
It appears that what they are doing is moving direct and dedicated state dollars that would go to special education teachers and moving it to block grants that can be spent on anything local districts call special education but may not be special education.
The education bill funds special education based on the number of general education students, not the number of students with disabilities.
The sad facts are these: This is a flawed bill from the viewpoint of adequate education funding and support for special education students. That’s not why Rauner will veto it, however. He will veto it because it doesn’t punish Chicago enough. Even without a veto there is no budget for state school funding next year.
It’s a mess with plenty of blame to go around in Springfield.