School funding reform bill could be voted on Sunday - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

School funding reform bill could be voted on Sunday

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MURPHYSBORO -- School districts across the state are preparing to enter into the school year in less than a week, but many districts like Murphysboro Unit District 186 will start the year without hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding.

 "Teachers are asking me, 'So, what happens? How long can we make payroll?' That concern is on their mind," said Murphysboro CUSD #186 Superintendent Chris Grode.

Schools still have not received their state aid. SB 1 would dramatically change the way schools are funded across the state. However, Governor Bruce Rauner made an amendatory veto to SB 1 that made over 100 changes to the funding bill, calling it a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

"You will see that with my changes, Illinois can achieve historic education funding reform that is fair and equitable to all Illinois children," Rauner said.

SB1 originally called for a evidence-based funding model that would distribute money to school districts that needed it the most, such as Murphysboro that gets 60 percent of its funding from the state.

Grode said the Senate needs to override the Governor's veto because the evidence-based funding model is what has been suggested for years.

"Even the governor's most recent commission said the evidence based model is exactly what we should move towards," Grode said.

SB 1 would be the first school funding reform bill the state has seen in years.

"This is, in my career, the first law that could change funding," Grode said. "We've been under the same formula with the same amount of money during my career in education."

Grode said Murphysboro is entering the school year without $800,000 in state aid because of the lack of the funding reform. He said the district has enough to make it through August but will have to shut its doors if a funding reform bill isn't passed because the district will have exhausted borrowing options.

Senate Democrats are expected to attempt to override the Governors amendatory veto in a special session Sunday afternoon.

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