Mike Klonsky: Governor Rauner Vetoes Funding for the Kids of Chicago

Mike Klonsky describes Governor Rauner’s rationale for vetoing aid to Chicago public schools.

“Gov. Rauner has vetoed SB1, the school funding bill, thereby continuing to deprive the state’s neediest districts of millions of dollars and threatening the opening of schools in the fall.

“Rauner claims that the bill takes money away from wealthier white districts in order to “bail out” needier, mainly black and Latino districts like Chicago. He also claims, the bill, “includes a bailout of Chicago’s broken teacher pension system.”

“Both claims are false, says the BGA.

“In fact, under the new funding formula no school district gets less state money, but many low-income districts get more. With low-income students accounting for 80.2% of its enrollment, CPS is among the latter group.

“The biggest problem with the bill as I see it, is that it fails to identify new sources of revenue, ie. a graduated income tax, making the wealthiest pay their fair share. But nevertheless, the bill, which passed both houses in Springfield needs to be signed, and fast.

“Rauner’s been using the big-lie technique to play off white students against students of color, urban schools against downstate and suburban schools and everyone against teachers, their unions, and retirees.

“But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that his “bail out” claims are correct. What’s wrong with bailing out public schools or other public institutions in distress? If IL paid its fair share of education dollars, a bail out wouldn’t be necessary. IL continues to rank near the bottom when it comes to school funding.

“The state, by constitutional mandate, has the primary responsibility for funding its public schools but has never come close to covering even 50% of the cost. In recent years, the state’s contribution has dipped below 30%, forcing local school districts to raise their property tax levy or cut programs.”

Another example of a state that has decided to starve its public school and evade its state constitutional responsibility.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2vlUnnj

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