- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on school-funding legislation (all times local):

5 p.m.

Senate President John Cullerton says Gov. Bruce Rauner need not call a special session to deal with school funding. The Chicago Democrat said in a statement Friday that the Republican need only show lawmakers his alternative.

Rauner went to a high school south of Springfield to ask the Senate again to send him the funding formula legislation because the start of school looms. He says he wants it on his desk by Monday or he’ll call legislators into special session.

Cullerton says all Rauner needs to do is meet with legislative leaders and show them his plan.

Rauner wants to use an amendatory veto on the measure. He says the formula designed to push money to neediest schools first is a “bailout” for Chicago Public Schools who have underfunded pension accounts. Proponents say Chicago is not getting preferential treatment.

He produced a list this week that cuts Chicago funding by $145 million and adds it to other districts in Illinois. But he’s not released numbers-crunching details.


4:20 p.m.

The state schools superintendent says in a memo to local administrators that the state will issue billions of dollars it controls even if there’s no revised financing system signed into law.

The Democratic Legislature approved a state budget that requires Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to distribute general state aid through a new “evidence-based” method to ensure money gets to the neediest schools. But the method is in separate legislation it hasn’t sent to Rauner.

Tony Smith is superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education. He says in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that $6.7 billion must be distributed under the evidence-based model not in law. But the state board will issue $5.2 billion in other state and federal funding in any event.

Local school superintendents say that money isn’t helpful in putting students and teachers in the classroom.


11:35 a.m.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will call lawmakers into special session to deal with public school funding if they don’t send him legislation on the issue by Monday.

The Republican governor visited Auburn High School south of Springfield Friday. He repeated his call for the Senate to send him the measure the General Assembly approved in May that revises the school-aid formula. Rauner says he will use an amendatory veto to remove a portion of the bill that funnels teacher-pension money to Chicago.

But the Senate is holding onto the legislation. Rauner says he’ll call a special session if he doesn’t have it by Monday at noon. He wants the matter settled by July 31.

School-aid checks are sent in early August.

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