Protest held at Rauner's Winnetka home after veto of school funding bill

WINNETKA, Ill. (WLS) -- A group of Chicago Public School parents and students protested outside Gov. Bruce Rauner's Winnetka home on Wednesday, angered by his veto of a public education funding bill this week.

Students from Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood chanted "Fund our futures, fund our schools, withholding funds is not cool."

"For you Rauner to decide to withhold funding from our schools is incompetent as a governor. Our schools are worth saving, our communities are worth investing in, our lives matter," said Veronica Rodriguez, a senior at Back of Yards High School.

On Tuesday, Rauner used his amendatory veto on public school funding bill Senate Bill 1 to eliminate money for Chicago's outstanding pension debt, saying he wants it instead to be distributed to other needy school districts around the state.

"Our students deserve support and funding as much as any other district in the state," said Mary Hughes, of Raise Your Hand.

The group went door to door in the governor's neighborhood to raise support for a compromise that could prevent Chicago from losing what initially appears to be at least 200-million dollars under the governor's veto.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking at an unrelated event, accused Rauner of governing through anger, and hoped lawmakers could override the veto or come up with a new funding bill.

"Look, I think, they're going to work as they have in the budget, to work around the governor, because the governor is a stumbling block to progress," Emanuel said.

The state's second-largest school district, Elgin Area School District U-46, is preparing to open schools on Aug. 16 with a lot of uncertainty.

Tony Sanders, CEO of U-46, said without state funds they only have enough reserves to stay open until December. He supports the original SB-1 and hopes cooler heads will prevail in Springfield.

"We need to get both sides at the table to negotiate in good faith and come up with a solution so we can open our doors and stay open for the full year," Sanders said.

The Senate now has 15 days to take action on the governor's veto. They can't change anything, they can only vote to override it or approve his changes. If not, the bill dies and lawmaker have to start all over again.
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