Illinois Q-C area school leaders push for fix in school funding

PORT BYRON-- Area school districts joined Riverdale school administrators to get lawmakers to fix education funding for Illinois schools.

Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the school funding bill SB1 because he says it's too generous to Chicago schools and it wouldn't allow flexible funding in the future.

But without a funding formula, it's left school leaders worried.

“We’re here today to try to get a funding formula that is fair and equitable to all the students across the state of Illinois," says Riverdale District Superintendent Ron Jacobs.

Jacobs and other local superintendents are urging parents to make calls to their lawmakers to take quick action.

"(We want to) encourage our legislators to do the right thing...to make sure that our schools are funded so we can do what we do best as educators and that's to teach and to educate instead of worrying about whether or not we're going to have enough money to keep our building open for the entire school year," says Jacobs.

He says the schools were supposed to receive state aid payments on August 10th but they didn't come through. They are worried they won't get the next payment either.

Democratic State Rep. Mike Halpin joined local superintendents for the discussion. He supports the SB1 bill but is also open to negotiating  a bill everyone can agree on.

"We need to have education funding formula and we need the ability for the state to make those payments to our local schools," says Halpin.

He's heard from local school districts concerned about borrowing money in order to stay open or resorting to closing their doors.

"It sets us back months... possibly years when we properly can’t educate our kids," says Halpin.

The senate needs 36 votes to override the Governors veto.

The Senate will head back to Springfield on on Sunday and the House on Wednesday.