Gov. Rauner threatens to veto Illinois school funding bill over Chicago pensions


Gov. Bruce Rauner

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Illinois school districts are in serious danger of starting the school year on time or even at all, Governor Bruce Rauner said Thursday.

“What’s happening is our school funding for this year, August and September, that bill to fund that is being held up Speaker Madigan,” Rauner said.

As part of the new budget, school funding is to be allocated based upon a new evidence-based model. Senate Bill 1 is the model that needs to be signed. Governor Rauner said it passed the Illinois House and Senate six weeks ago, but has not been sent to his desk for his signature.

“They’re sitting on it, holding it until August to force a crisis to force taxpayers of Illinois to fund a bailout of Chicago pensions,” he said.

The governor said school districts such as Belleville, Edwardsville, Collinsville, and Granite City will have millions of dollars taken away from them over time and given to Chicago pensions.

“We need to get it to my desk. I will veto it, take out the pension part, leave the rest in, and then we can get schools open,” Rauner said.

Illinois Representative Jerry Costello (D-East St. Louis) said every superintendent he is aware of supports the current SB1.

“While (Gov. Rauner) calls SB1 a Chicago bailout, it’s simply untrue,” Costello said. “In the bill over 260 of the 860 school districts in the state of Illinois receive more funding than Chicago.”

Illinois Representative Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville) said she believes the bill could be “fairer for local schools.”

“The state has a responsibility to pay its fair share of education for our local schools,” she said.

However, Stuart adds the governor needs to negotiate a better deal for all schools. One thing’s for sure: the clock is ticking and no funding is scheduled for Illinois schools.


About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News