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Nybo responds to Governor's amendatory veto to school funding bill

Within 24 hours of Democrat legislators releasing the school funding bill (Senate Bill 1), the Governor held a press conference on August 1 announcing that he has issued an amendatory veto to make the school funding formula more fair and equitable for all Illinois school districts. State Senator Chris Nybo responded to the Governor's call for swift action by the General Assembly.

“Our children’s right to a quality education should never once be a partisan decision, but instead a unifying issue,” said Nybo. “The Democrats have spent two months holding onto the school funding bill—gambling our children’s education, rather than negotiating in good faith to reach a compromise. As promised, the Governor issued an amendatory veto that is fair and equitable to every school district in Illinois without unfairly tipping the scale toward Chicago. We are all still open to negotiations, but it's vital we return to Springfield as soon as possible to pass this legislation and ensure every single school opens on time this month.”

The governor’s amendatory veto makes the following changes to ensure an adequate and equitable school funding formula:

  • Maintains a per-district hold harmless until the 2020-2021 school year, and then moves to a per-pupil hold harmless based on a three-year rolling average of enrollment.
  • Removes the minimum funding requirement. While the governor is committed to ensuring that the legislature satisfies its duty to fund schools, the proposed trigger of one percent of the overall adequacy target plus $93 million artificially inflates the minimum funding number and jeopardizes Tier II funding.

  • Removes the Chicago block grant from the funding formula.
  • Removes both Chicago Public Schools pension considerations from the formula: the normal cost pick-up and the unfunded liability deduction. 
  • Reintegrates the normal cost pick-up for Chicago Public Schools into the Pension Code where it belongs, and finally begins to treat Chicago like all other districts with regards to the State’s relationship with its teachers’ pensions.
  • Eliminates the PTELL and TIF equalized assessed value subsidies that allow districts to continue under-reporting property wealth.
  • Removes the escalators throughout the bill that automatically increase costs.
  • Retains the floor for the regionalization factor, for the purposes of equity, and adds a cap, for the purposes of adequacy.

The amendatory veto also removes the accounting for future pension cost shifts to districts in the Adequacy Target. This prevents districts from ever fully taking responsibility for the normal costs of their teachers’ pensions.

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