By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) In February, Bill Cameron wrote about the local versus state dispute over the Chicago Public Schools financial status.
City Hall now says Governor Rauner intentionally talked up CPS bankruptcy in order to torpedo a big bond issue Rahm needs to keep school doors open, Cameron writes.
Governor Bruce Rauner said that was not the case.
“That’s ridiculous,” Rauner said. “I believe that’s City Hall flailing and floundering and failing and looking to blame others for it.”
On May 10, 2016, the Illinois Senate passed a bill for education funding reform that would “direct more dollars to support low-income students and help address a grossly unfair funding gap that exists between wealthy and poor school districts throughout the state.”
The changes in the bill included a shift in the way the state provides funding to schools and reducing the role of local property taxes in favor of state funding.
The Chicago Sun-Times cited in April that in its current condition, “some schools in Illinois are able to spend as much as $30,000 per student, while others can only afford the $6,119 foundation level.”
The issue continued throughout the entire year of 2016, and in August, CPS laid off 302 high school teachers, 192 elementary school teachers, 352 high school support personnel and 140 elementary school personnel.
In December, Gov. Bruce Rauner said he’ll meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a budget deal and is willing to include money he vetoed for Chicago Public Schools if it’s part of a “comprehensive package,” signaling that the issue has not yet been resolved, nor put to rest.