Superintendents meet to bring awareness to need of school funding
ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois school funding bill is in the hands of the governor.
Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler confirmed that Senate Bill 1,the legislation that revamps the Illinois school funding formula, was sent to Governor Bruce Rauner this afternoon.
Now that the bill's on his desk, it is unclear what will happen. The governor has said he will use his veto power to strip some money for Chicago Public Schools.
Many districts are concerned about how long schools can stay open without state money.
With two weeks until the start of school, not only did lawmakers meet on Monday, July 31, but so did Superintendents across Illinois.
Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent of Sandoval Community Unit District, is one of many district leaders with their fingers crossed for the school funding in Senate Bill 1.She said she is "wishing for the best, but preparing for the worst."
"Really it's just literally going through every bill and seeing what we can afford to pay. Because we are prioritizing payroll over bills right now," Garrison explained. "So only essential vendors are getting paid and we started that last month. So that's really how we are surviving right now. And we will no longer be able to do that come Oct 1 without our general state aid, our evidence based model."
Sandoval's schools don't have the reserve money to stay open very long without funding from the state.
Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, explained the significance of the bill to all schools.
"SB 1 moves all school districts forward. It is a world of work that has been vetted from every imaginable angle," Clark said.
Work that they have spent much time on he said,
"We've had endless hours, ad nauseam, really, of negotiations of how to put together a funding formula," Clark said. "We have negotiations occurring now at the state capitol. But I've talked to negotiators at all four caucuses and they are generally encouraging but all recognize there is still some ground to be covered in negotiations to close to the gap here."
In order to override the governor's changes, lawmakers need a three-fifths majority.
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