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

The Rauner plan is smoke and mirrors; schools lose in out years

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the chief Senate sponsor of Senate Bill 1, school funding reform legislation, issued the following statement ahead of today’s (Sunday, Aug. 13) expected vote in the Illinois Senate to override the governor’s veto of the measure:

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have continued to work toward a compromise since Gov. Rauner took the short-sighted step of vetoing Senate Bill 1 and attaching provisions that would make collateral damage of hundreds of central and southern Illinois school districts.

“Make no mistake: All of his talk about schools getting more money initially under his ‘education plan’ is little more than smoke and mirrors. The Rauner plan will devastate school districts and communities throughout the state going forward, even though Senate Bill 1 offers fair, adequate and stable long-term funding for all schools.

“Today, the governor still has the opportunity to show real leadership by engaging with lawmakers to reach a bipartisan compromise on this legislation. Doing so will enable him to be a part of a meaningful, historic reform effort in Illinois, rather than someone who was relegated to the sidelines.”

Category: School Funding Reform

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Analysis released Saturday evening confirms Rauner plan will perpetuate system of winners and losers

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the release of the state’s analysis of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s suggested changes to Senate Bill 1:

“Gov. Rauner's numbers clearly show that his plan to fund schools is a failure. Everything you need to know about it can be found in the headline of his press release: that it would send money to almost every school district in Illinois. In fact, 406,000 Illinois children statewide would receive less money under the Rauner plan.

“Senate Bill 1 was carefully crafted to ensure no school districts lose funding and that all schools are lifted into adequacy over time so that all students, regardless of where they live or their personal learning needs, have a fair shot at receiving the best education Illinois can offer. Gov. Rauner can't say the same about his plan.

“Underfunded schools in Illinois don't need a Red Bull. They need sustainable nourishment. A temporary boost in funding won't solve this problem. Senate Bill 1 provides long-term stability and certainty in our pursuit of adequacy and equity in public education.

“The most glaring omission from Gov. Rauner's spreadsheets is what happens to these school districts in the out years once his provisions kick in that pit schools against economic development. Hundreds of districts would see a significant loss of state funding, and property owners would shoulder tax hikes as a result of the state shifting costs onto school districts under the Rauner plan.

“I expect these late-breaking numbers from the administration will change few hearts and minds. In my view, there is no question that Senate Bill 1 is the path forward for Illinois. I look forward to the Senate proceeding with its vote to override Gov. Rauner.”

Category: School Funding Reform

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