Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) explains the challenges of advancing a school funding reform plan to Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk.

"The governor has traveled the state in recent weeks and has patted himself on the back for what he calls 'a record level of funding,'" Manar said in this May 19 interview at the Capitol. "What the goernor doesn't, of course, say is that along with that has come a record level of inequity because he has been standing in the way of reform.

"Just today, the governor issues a statement decrying the bill that was just passed — a bill that his own school funding commission recommended. The governor's own budget proposal that was filed 14 days after his school funding commission put out detailed recommendations did the opposite of what his own commission recommended.

"So it's pretty clear to me the governor is standing in the way of us getting this done once and for all. But nonetheless, we need his signature on a bill to make it the law of the land."

Watch for more about how Democrats are leading on the issue of school funding reform in Illinois.

Category: School Funding Reform

ManarPresser05192017State Senator Andy Manar is urging Illinois school superintendents to be aware that misleading figures are being peddled about Senate Bill 1, the school funding plan that passed in the Illinois Senate this week.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office this afternoon acknowledged the figures are inaccurate and outdated but stopped short of denouncing them.

“This appears to be a textbook example of fake news. I am disturbed as to how and why this information was put out there and framed as official information from the Rauner administration, clearly with the intent of confusing and misleading people about Senate Bill 1,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

“Senate Democrats have asked the executive inspector general to look into that, but right now I want to make sure school superintendents are aware that outdated information is fraudulently being passed off as up-to-date news about Senate Bill 1.

“Furthermore, I hope Gov. Rauner and Education Secretary Beth Purvis will follow our lead and alert school officials about this misleading information to set the record straight. Anything less makes them complicit in a concerted effort to jeopardize Illinois’ shot at achieving meaningful school funding reform.”

Category: School Funding Reform

Manar05172017Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a widely respected advocate for fair school funding in Illinois, issued the following statement regarding criticism leveled by the Rauner administration today immediately following the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform measure sponsored by Manar:

“The Rauner administration and Republicans want to behave like this is a vexing new problem that Illinois has never tried to tackle before. The truth is this is a more than 20-year-old problem that we have studied to death, repeatedly debated and willfully ignored.

“In Gov. Rauner’s perfect world, Illinois’ aging public schools would feature teachers that are paid less, support services that are outsourced and very little accountability to the communities they serve.

“That’s not the world we live in. We owe it to our students of today and our students of tomorrow to deal with Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula now. Educators, parents, taxpayers, students and advocates are clamoring for change, and we would be remiss to not get this done before May 31. Gov. Rauner knows this, and so does his education secretary, Beth Purvis.

“Here’s the bottom line: The only opposition that exists to Senate Bill 1 is from Bruce Rauner and his enablers, who for some reason refuse to show independence from the governor when it comes time to do the right thing.

“Gov. Rauner and his team can put out all the statements they want claiming I abandoned the bipartisan process. I can sleep at night knowing I’ve never abandoned Illinois students or leveraged the state’s future for a political agenda.”

Category: School Funding Reform

A message from Senator Andy Manar:

ManarEdRallyDear friends,

I hope you will join hundreds of fair funding supporters in Springfield this week to send an urgent message to Gov. Rauner and state lawmakers: that it’s time to enact school funding reform in Illinois.

A rally and a foot race – to help advocates run school funding reform across the finish line – will take place the afternoon of Wednesday, May 17, in front of the Lincoln Statue outside the Illinois State Capitol on Second Street.

We’re close to having enough votes to pass legislation that ensures fair and adequate school funding for schools throughout Illinois, regardless of their ZIP codes. But some of my colleagues in the General Assembly still need convincing.

That’s where you come in.

Show up at the Capitol to rally in support of fair funding for all schools. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you, and bring posters and signs to help convey your message to Gov. Rauner and state legislators.

When: 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, May 17
Where: Lincoln statue, east side of the Illinois Capitol, Second Street and Capitol Avenue

Let organizers know you plan to attend by following this link. The event is organized by Fix the Formula Illinois, a coalition that includes the following partners:

  • Advance Illinois
  • the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
  • Educators for Excellence
  • Equity First
  • Funding Illinois' Future
  • High School District Organizations of Illinois
  • Illinois Association of School Administrators
  • Illinois Association of School Business Officials
  • Illinois Principals Association
  • Teach Plus Illinois
  • Vision 20/20

With just over two weeks left until the legislature adjourns May 31 and with schools throughout Illinois facing severe fiscal challenges because of funding disparities and the state budget stalemate, it is incumbent upon parents, students, educators, taxpayers, stakeholders and others to make their opinions known now.

If you can’t make it to the rally on the 17th, I urge you to contact your state lawmakers and Gov. Rauner directly to let them know where you stand on fair and adequate funding for all Illinois schools.

I plan to be there, and I hope to see you there, too.

Category: School Funding Reform

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Springfield Office:
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