Illinois governor calls his changes to school funding bill ‘fair’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner says the way public schools get money in Illinois will be more “fair and equitable” with his changes to a school funding bill.

The Republican on Tuesday removed help for Chicago Public Schools’ pensions along with money the district formerly received in the form of a block grant, and other changes.

The bill now returns to the Legislature, where three-fifths of lawmakers in both chambers must either approve or override Rauner’s changes. Both options will be difficult. If neither chamber can muster the votes, the legislation dies.

Ahead Rauner’s Capitol news conference, Democrats backing the measure called for Rauner to sign it, instead of rewriting it. State Sen. Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, says a veto of the bill sets the state “back decades.”

Both parties agree the 20-year-old formula Illinois uses to fund schools is unfair, but they disagree over how to change it.