School Advocates to Quad Citians: Tell Your Representatives To Support An Override

Jul 11, 2017
Originally published on July 13, 2017 4:51 pm
The fight isn't over for the East Moline School District after Illinois ended its two-year budget impasse last week. 

The new budget requires that allocated funding for public schools only be distributed under a funding formula that accounts for school size and demographics, also known as an evidence-based formula, which schools do not currently have. That means that funding for East Moline and every other school district in Illinois is stuck in Springfield until a new school funding formula is passed into law.

That's why Superintendent Kristin Humpries says he's co-hosting a town hall meeting Thursday to talk about Senate Bill 1, the funding distribution bill that could release the cash.

That bill passed the General Assembly in May, but Governor Bruce Rauner has vowed to veto it, saying it's a bailout for Chicago schools because it contributes to the district's pension obligation fund. 

Humphries will partner with Fix the Formula--a coalition of funding reforms advocacy groups--to host the meeting. 

"We're also canvassing in different districts to get the word out about Senate Bill 1 and help people call their legislators in the case that we need an override vote of the Governor's veto," Anna Schneider, who helped organize the town hall meeting said.

Republican Representative Tony McCombie from Savanna thinks it's extremely unlikely that Democrats will convince enough Republicans to override a potential veto, saying Republican representatives "won't put Chicago kids ahead of their own."

But Humphries thinks East Moline would actually be the biggest beneficiary of the bill. 

"Right now under Senate Bill 1, Chicago would get $194 more per student than they do currently. Under Senate Bill 1 East Moline Schools will get $434 and nobody has called this the East Moline bailout."

Democratic Representative Mike Halpin from Rock Island will also be in attendance. He voted for the budget, but seemed to be under the impression that schools would receive funding under the current model until a new one is approved, which isn't the case. 

There is a competing, nearly identical Republican bill that gives less money to Chicago schools, but that bill hasn't been voted on yet. 

The town hall meeting will held tonight at 6 in East Moline at Glenview Middle School. 

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