DuQuoin superintendent reacts to Gov. Rauner's amendatory veto of IL school funding bill

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 on Tuesday, August 1.

The bill that would provide funding to school districts across the state and was sent to Gov. Rauner's desk on Monday, July 31.

Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti released the following statement after Rauner vetoed the bill:

"As a child who grew up in poverty, my schools didn't have the resources they needed to provide me with a quality education. Here in Illinois, too many children know this reality. Our school funding system has been broken for far too long. It shouldn't matter where you live or how much money your parents make – all children deserve access to a world-class education. As a member of the School Funding Commission, I fully support the Governor's Amendatory Veto because it ensures that every Illinois school district receives fair and equitable treatment. I am happy to see an evidence based formula that distributes money to school districts that need it most. I am confident the House and Senate will support a clean school funding bill that puts more money in the classroom for our students."

Gov. Rauner had previously said he would veto the bill to strip additional funding for Chicago Public Schools. He also made changes that could affect Heartland schools.

DuQuoin Superintendent, Dr. Gary Kelly, is responsible for 1,500 kids. With only a couple weeks left until the start of school, he wants a resolution to the school spending bill.

"We've got a crisis, we've got a situation here that needs to be resolved...and hopefully it can be resolved through some type of an agreement," Kelly said.

The governor made several changes to Senate Bill 1, and some could have an impact on our schools. Rauner took away the minimum funding requirement and limit school districts by capping some of their resources and passing along pension cost to school districts.

In reaction to that, Kelly explained, "If education funding is priority, then there has to be dollars put into this formula... If there is not a commitment to that, then we are being treated no different than what we have been in the past."

At this point, he hopes there can be a compromise.

"At the end of the day…there is an agreement somewhere…it may not be over here…it may not be here, but that agreement is somewhere in between and that agreement needs to have a positive impact on children in our state," he said.

The amended bill is now with the Senate and they have 15 days. Lawmakers have a few options on the table regarding the bill. They can choose to accept the governor's changes or vote to override the changes. But if they fail to override the entire bill dies.

A third option is to draft new legislation, referred to as a trailer bill, which could be more in line with the governor's changes.

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