Future of state funding uncertain for many Illinois schools as classes begin

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Wednesday was the first day of school for many students across Illinois, including those in U-46, the second-largest school district in the state.

Students at Bartlett High School were greeted by the school mascot, music and cupcakes donated by a local bakery on their first day back.

"I'm excited to see my friends, but it's a little tiring. A little nervous to go back to all our classes," one student said.

Bartlett High, like many schools in Illinois, is operating on borrowed time.

The state government has missed its first deadline for payments to public schools. The district is burning through reserves. By January or February, it will likely run out of money to keep the doors open.

"I really wish the adults would take a look and see what's going on around here and see what their antics are really doing, because it affects all of these students here. It affects this culture," Bartlett High School Principal Mike Demovsky said.

The district already made cuts to save cash, like ending a breakfast program for students. It was deemed too costly back in April.

The Illinois House met in special session Wednesday, hopefully putting together a plan to get the school funding bill passed.

Governor Bruce Rauner partially vetoed SB-1 two weeks ago. The Illinois Senate scrambled to override that veto, and now it's on the house floor. Lawmakers have 13 days to override the partial veto. The deadline is Aug. 29.

ABC7 Eyewitness News Political Reporter Craig Wall will be in Springfield Wednesday to cover the special session, as well as Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair. Look for his reports throughout the day.
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