Manar and Superintendents 08292017 665

SPRINGFIELD – An unprecedented overhaul of how Illinois funds public schools is on its way to the governor’s desk and should result in additional funding for schools in Bunker Hill, Gillespie, Decatur, Taylorville, Carlinville, Staunton and elsewhere throughout the 48th Senate District.

“Students, parents, teachers and taxpayers deserve better than what Illinois has been offering. Finally, we have a plan that lays the groundwork for local schools to be fairly funded by the state,” said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who sponsored the long-overdue revamp of the state’s school finance system.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the measure Thursday afternoon in Chicago.

Once he does, schools will be funded through an evidence-based model that prioritizes funding for schools that are the farthest away from adequacy. The model ensures no schools lose money, eliminates the current system of winning and losing school districts, and offers financial certainty to school districts annually when they embark on crafting their budgets for the upcoming schoolyear.

Although the plan is a big win for area schools, Manar said he was disappointed that Republicans insisted that a private school tax credit program be included before they would vote for it and before Gov. Rauner would sign it.

Republicans inserted a tax credit for people who donate to scholarship programs at private schools that benefit low-income students.

Once that provision was included, Rauner and the Republicans ended their opposition to the comprehensive education overhaul package.

“Personally, I oppose this type of tax credit program for private schools. But it’s the price the governor and Republicans demanded for their votes so that we could finally enact a fair public school funding system,” Manar said. “At the end of the day, this is a substantial improvement for the schools in this area, and that’s why I supported it.”

(Pictured: Senator Andy Manar and Representative Will Davis pose with school superintendents and advocates in the Illinois Capitol rotunda following the Senate's historic vote to overhaul the state's school funding formula and send legislation to the governor's desk on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.)

Read more: Manar delivers historic win for local schools

Category: School Funding Reform

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the Senate sponsor of the school funding reform legislation under negotiation by legislative leaders, issued the following statement this evening:

“I am encouraged that the legislative leaders appear to have reached an agreement in concept on school funding reform. As many have reiterated time and again for years on end, the inequities that deepen with each passing day in our public schools are a horrible stain on our great state. The status quo is unjust and immoral. Our goal is simple: create a system that is both adequate and equitable for all children. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this job done.”

In the news: School funding agreement 'in concept' reached | The Associated Press

In the news:'Historic' school funding deal reached, leaders say | Chicago Sun-Times

In the news:Democrats, Republicans say tentative deal reached on school funding | Chicago Tribune

In the news:Superintendents want quick action on school funding reform | The State Journal-Register

In the news: Manar continues push for school funding reform | WBGZ Radio

Category: School Funding Reform

SPRINGFIELD — Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to today’s leaders’ meeting about school funding reform and cancellation of Wednesday’s House override vote:

“Three weeks ago, Representative Will Davis and I respectfully asked Governor Rauner to allow lawmakers to continue negotiations on Senate Bill 1 so that we could avoid having a divisive veto override vote. He did not extend to lawmakers on both side of the aisle that were actively engaged in negotiations the courtesy of additional time. Instead, he issued a dismantling veto of SB 1.

“Nevertheless, I am pleased that negotiations took shape today and appear to be promising. They should continue. But it bears repeating that the uncertainty over school funding needs to end — next week at the latest.

“Inequity in our schools needs to end. It’s time to bring this debate that has spanned a generation to a close, either through a bipartisan agreement or through an override of the governor’s veto in the House. One way or another we must fix this broken formula, right now.”

Category: School Funding Reform

Manar commends Senate for overriding governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1

ManarSB108132017SPRINGFIELD – Generations of children will benefit from schools that are fairly and adequately funded if the Illinois House follows the Senate’s lead and votes to override the governor’s veto of historic school funding reform legislation.

Members of the Senate voted 38-19 on Sunday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, which would enact a fair method of funding schools in Illinois for the first time in more than 20 years, said the legislation represents years of compromise and negotiation among lawmakers and school superintendents.

“The Senate did the right thing for Illinois children, families, educators and taxpayers today. I hope the members of the House will be able to find the courage to buck the governor and do the same,” Manar said.

“Gov. Rauner’s veto, which represents a total rewrite of the underlying bill, has generated no support and no excitement among the superintendents and educators who have boots on the ground in the least-funded schools of Illinois. Every day, they witness the disparities caused by the state’s broken school funding formula, and they know full well that his plan does nothing to solve the problem.”

Senate Bill 1 ensures no schools lose state funding and would enact an evidence-based model of funding public schools. It has garnered broad, vocal support from school superintendents, educators, parents, students, taxpayers, community leaders, elected officials, civic organizations and others across the state.

However, Rauner inserted provisions into the legislation through his amendatory veto that perpetuate a system of winning and losing school districts and create a fiscal cliff that would shift a greater financial burden onto local property taxpayers – especially in central and southern Illinois – in future years.

Manar noted that the governor’s provisions have not been vetted in public hearings, and that it would be irresponsible for lawmakers to enact such sweeping changes to local schools and government through an amendatory veto without ample opportunity for public discussion.

“This issue of school funding disparities weighs on my conscience. It will continue to do that. But we are on the verge of enacting historic change,” he said.

“For years, this debate has gone on in the General Assembly, and it veers off into failure for various reasons. This veto is not going to be the reason this time. Our kids deserve better. I urge the House to join us in overriding the governor’s veto.”

Category: School Funding Reform

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