Gov. Rauner releases figures showing impact of school funding plan

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Claypool blasts Rauner's funding plan
Gov. Bruce Rauner released figures on Tuesday showing how his proposed school funding plan would impact districts.

The Chicago Public Schools - grappling with financial problems and the threat of a teachers strike - got more bad news on Tuesday. The district stands to lose $74 million next year, under a proposal by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner released figures on Tuesday showing how much state aid each district gains or loses under his education funding plan.

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool blasted the plan, calling it discriminatory against poor minorities.

"That is an educational funding system that is more akin to what you would expect in Mississippi in the 1960s, not in the city of Chicago or in Illinois," Claypool said.

Under the governor's plan, the big winners are districts in Carpentersville, Yorkville, Elgin and DeKalb. Claypool said some North Shore districts gain funding as well.

Beside CPS, districts that could lose funding serve Indian Prairie, North Chicago and Thornton Township High School.

Overall, Rauner's plan calls for an increase of education funding. He said CPS and others lose money partially because of population losses among poor students.

"That is only a small portion of the decrease," Claypool said. "That is a very misleading statement to mask that he is dramatically cutting funding for CPS and other low-income districts around the state."

Rauner said the $75 million loss is less than what CPS would lose under the current democratic funding formula.

"I'm open to changing the school funding formula, which the democrats, which the last time it was updated the democrats had complete control of everything about the formula," Rauner said.

Meantime, state House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, has proposed a constitutional amendment to strengthen the state's responsibility to fund public education.

Rauner said CPS doesn't need a bail out from the state, and has maintained that the state's largest school district should go bankrupt and allow the state to take over.