Gov. Rauner's veto could mean more money for Rockford schools - – Rockford’s News Leader

Gov. Rauner's veto could mean more money for Rockford schools


Fairness and equity, that's what lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they are trying to accomplish with Senate Bill 1.

"If the changes I have recommended are upheld Illinois will achieve a tremendous feat," Gov. Bruce Rauner said. "Our state will enact historic education reform."

Rauner issued an amendatory veto stripping millions of dollars from Chicago schools. Democratic State Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, who is against the veto said Senate Bill 1 would bring in $5 million to Rockford Public Schools. However, State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said that amount isn't enough. 

"After we pay Chicago first, there may not be any new money coming to districts because of the way Senate Bill 1 works," he said. "Going forward, Rockford may not get much of an increase. This may be all they're ever going to get."

Rauner said his amendatory veto would bring in an extra $4.5 million Rockford area schools on top of the initial $5 million. Syverson said that would equal a total of $9 million to area schools. 

"That's enough where you could see property tax relief take place," he said.

Local schools said they welcome the cash, but they hope lawmakers are making decisions that will benefit every child. 

"You really have to take a step back and look at all the intricacies of Chicago Public Schools and evaluate that and say just because more money is in the area you've got to look at the state as a whole," Josh Aurand, the assistant superintendent with Harlem School District said. 
Lawmakers have 15 days to decide whether they want to approve the governor's changes or override his veto. 

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