Manar07122017SPRINGFIELD – An angry, knee-jerk veto promised by Gov. Bruce Rauner could set Illinois schools and students back another two decades, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said Thursday, urging the governor to choose rational compromise over divisive rhetoric.

“School funding reform is a critically important issue for Illinois. For 20 years, people have invested their time, their sweat and their tears into building bridges, overcoming regional divides and collaborating on ideas so we can fix our broken school funding formula,” Manar said. “Gov. Rauner is going to set the clock back another 20 years if he follows through on his promise to veto Senate Bill 1.”

Manar is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform overhaul that is widely supported by school superintendents, educators, advocates and professional and community organizations statewide.
Rauner has called Senate Bill 1 a “bailout” of Chicago Public Schools and this week is demanding that the legislation be sent to him so he can veto it. Lawmakers have put a hold on the legislation to protect it from a possible veto until Rauner calms himself and indicates he is prepared to act rationally about the landmark reform measure.

“Gov. Rauner is in no position to criticize anyone. He repeatedly has dropped the ball when it comes doing the right thing for Illinois public schools,” Manar said. “He vetoed the budget that ensured state support for schools. He failed to follow his own school funding reform commission’s recommendations, and now he’s planning to veto an overhaul of our unfair school funding formula.”

Manar called on the governor to negotiate with lawmakers about what he would like changed in Senate Bill 1 to make it more likely that he will sign it. That’s the responsible approach given everything that’s riding on its success, he said.

He also urged the governor to tone down the rhetoric.

“The oldest trick in the playbook is to show up in a downstate community and say, ‘Those people are the reason why you don’t have the things you need in your community.’ I’ve seen in a hundred times,” Manar said. “I’m not going to let Gov. Rauner’s divisive argument about geography derail school funding reform. We’ve come too far to let that happen.”

Category: School Funding Reform

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