Rockford Area Superintendents & Local Legislators Meet to Advocate for Senate One Bill

Local Legislators & Superintendents meet over School Funding Bill

WTVO/WQRF - Democratic legislators and Rockford area superintendents expressed their deep concerns over the future of the students in Illinois.  Another major issue weighing on their minds is what happens if they don't override the Governor's amendatory veto.
Local democratic lawmakers and school superintendents are pushing Illinois legislators to override Governor Rauner's (R-IL) veto of Senate Bill One.  RPS Superintendent, Dr. Ehren Jarrett, believes the original Senate Bill would have done a better job of providing equitable funding.

"We need to shift resources towards our neediest students and our neediest communities," said Dr. Jarrett.  "[We must] make sure zipcode does not determine the opportunities and resources that are spent on students."

Senate Bill One would have given more money to every school district in Illinois, but the Governor used his amendatory veto to rewrite the bill.  He took out legacy pension payments for Chicago. Rauner says that money should instead be redirected to classrooms around the state. Senator Dave Syverson (R-35th) agrees, but says that's not what House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) wants.

"The school districts are a little concerned what the Speaker will do," said Syverson. "If they will compromise then the Speaker won't pass any bill then Rockford won't get anything."

Without funding, school doors throughout the state could eventually be forced to close.

"We will absolutely prioritize our children to keep the doors open," said Dr. Jarrett. "But, at a $1 million a day, where we are in a situation where we can no long keep the doors open and that is unacceptable."

Senator Steve Stadelman (D-34th) agrees. He says the system has been due for a repair.

"This has been an issue for decades," said Stadelman. "We have the most negligible system in the country. Senate Bill One addresses that it makes the changes to help out Rockford that have been struggling with the way the state has been distrubuting money to local children."

Representative Litesa Wallace (D-67th) says the battle across the aisle in Springfield is about the future of the students that will be impacted.

"The students of Illinois do not wear 'D's' or 'R's.'  They're waiting for us to do what's right for them," said Wallace. "With that being said, I encourage all my colleagues to override the amendatory veto"

Democratic legislators say they expect to have enough of the necessary votes to override the Governer's veto on Sunday.

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