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Syverson: Democrats again vote for Chicago bailout

Springfield – Democrats once again voted to take money from the majority of the state’s schools to pay for a bailout of Chicago’s failing schools, with their vote to override the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1, according to State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).

“The Governor’s veto made Senate Bill 1 a fairer solution to fixing our broken school funding formula, meaning more money for our struggling schools,” said Syverson. “This veto exposed how Chicago has exploited the tax system to gain additional funding and would rightfully put them behind needier schools in line for funding.”

Democrats actually passed SB1 back in May, but delayed sending it to the Governor for two months. Rauner immediately used his amendatory veto on the legislation to remove hundreds of millions in special deals for Chicago schools, which freed up more money to go through the evidence-based model to be distributed to schools that need it most.

Syverson noted that unfortunately supporters of Senate Bill 1 had recently been pushing out a large amount of misinformation on the effects of the veto, including a recent press conference in Rockford that incorrectly predicted a loss of funding for Rockford schools.

In reality, analysis from the Illinois State Board of Education showed the veto would have actually provided vast funding increases to local schools. Rockford schools would have received $9.5 million more under the veto than under SB1, as passed by the General Assembly. South Beloit would have picked up an additional $359,140 than it would under the Democrat version of SB1. Dekalb would have added $547,978 more than under SB1.

On Sunday, Democrats voted to override that veto, and send the original bill, including the special deals for Chicago, to the House for a similar vote. If the House, as expected, fails to vote for an override, the legislation is dead and the majority of school funding is blocked from being distributed to schools.

“We could have voted to uphold the veto and make sure our schools are fairly and equitably funded, instead Democrats again chose to continue to hold up funding for our children’s educations,” said Syverson. “The only way forward now is to put together a real compromise that all sides can support.”

Syverson noted that Chicago Democrats will likely require some type of special deals for Chicago, but he is hopeful that any deal will offer a more reasonable solution that frees up money for much needier schools throughout the rest of the state.

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