Sen Andy Manar (D) Says Gov Rauner Should Stop using Illinois Students as Political Pawns in Budget Battle

SPRINGFIELD, June 12 – Sen Andy Manar (D), who has worked for several years on reforming the school funding formula, to diminish the inequities in education funding, said in a statement released today that Illinois schoolchildren are not political pawns, and the Rauner administration should stop using them as such.

His statement comes in the wake of the Governor’s Education Secretary as saying the Gov liked most of the education funding bill, SB-1, which was passed by the legislature, but that the Governor would veto it, because of the 10% he doesn’t like.


“Gov. Rauner and his Education Secretary, Beth Purvis, made it crystal clear in this morning’s newspaper that they’re willing to sell out children and communities all over Illinois for pure political gain,” Manar said. “They’re pitting kids against kids, parents against parents and school districts against school districts. It’s unconscionable.”

In Monday’s Springfield State Journal-Register newspaper, Purvis was quoted as saying Rauner is in favor of “90 percent” of Senate Bill 1, a widely supported school funding reform proposal that passed in both houses of the legislature in May, but that he intends to veto it because he believes it is “too generous” to Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest school district.

But some Republican lawmakers have said this bill was presented as a school funding reform, but was hijacked, to include a bailout of Chicago Teachers Pension fund, by including a payment of $215 million, in addition to the millions CPS gets for school funding.

Sen Manar noted that Senate Bill 1 closes Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding gap and said Gov Rauner seems to believe that getting 100 percent of what he wants 100 percent of the time is how governing works.

“It’s unbelievable. He’s getting 90 percent of what he wants on a significant reform for Illinois, and he won’t accept it,” Manar said. “Most rational people would be able to accept winning 90 percent of any argument and move on. This is why we have complete and utter chaos and gridlock in Illinois.”