Local leaders react to veto of school funding bill - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local leaders react to veto of school funding bill


Another speed-bump for Illinois schools this week as the school funding bill heads back to the state general assembly.

"We don't think this that's the most efficient way to deal with this issue," said executive director of Rockford Lutheran School Don Gillingham.

Rockford Lutheran School is in one of the private districts in our area that stands to benefit from this legislation and the new tax credit scholarship program that goes along with it. 

"What has to happen now is that we need to proceed, there's too many questions for us to be dealing with this issue at this time," said Gillingham.

While private schools wait for an answer from Springfield, some of our area lawmakers question why the governor sent the bill back. 

"This was difficult legislation to pass, it took bipartisan efforts to compromise and get this law passed," said Democratic Senator Steve Stadelman. "We seem to be going backward." 

However, others say the amendatory veto was necessary.

"It's the right thing to do to correct a mistake that the legislature made," said Republican Senator Dave Syverson. "The governor really had no choice because its something the state board doesn't have the authority to fix." 

And according to Syverson, it should be an easy fix. 

"All the legislature has to do now is in the next 30 days just vote on it and accept those changes," said Syverson.

However, Stadelman worries how that delay could impact schools moving forward. 

"This funding formula has to be put into place in the next few months, and now we're delaying it by at least three weeks by having to vote on this amendatory veto, so it does effect this timeline and potentially could delay a very important school funding formula change," said Stadelman.
Meanwhile schools wait for lawmakers, during a time of change here in the Stateline.

"We'd like to have certainty," said Gillingham. 

Meanwhile, private schools say they are still moving forward with the new scholarship program and will continue to hold informational meetings for the public.

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