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Illinois Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of School Funding Formula

Illinois' Senate on Sunday voted to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the state's proposed new school funding formula. 

The state's House now must also override the veto in order for the funding formula, which hands over millions more state dollars to the state's public schools, to go into effect. That process, which begins Wednesday, will be a much more difficult one since House conservatives are more skeptical of the formula, observers told the Associated Press.  

The state government's inability to come up with a new funding formula has withheld millions of dollars from school districts, many of which opened their doors last week. Many district superintendents said that while it's difficult to operate without state funds, it's not impossible. But they say they can only hold on for so long.  

In his veto of the new school funding formula, Gov. Rauner said it should not be the state's responsibility to bail out Chicago Public Schools. The district has been bogged down by a ballooning pension fund in recent years. 

But in overriding Rauner's veto on Sunday, Senate Democrats said the governor's argument was hogwash. 

Democratic Sen. Andy Manar, who has led the state's effort to rewrite its school funding formula, pointed out that no district would receive less money under the new formula.  

"Taking money away from one district—the largest in the state, which educates children in poverty—and giving it to other districts in the state which educate children in poverty, is not a solution that's going to lead to greater equity," Manar told the Associated Press.  "Senate Bill 1 results in no red numbers, no losses."  

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