Do New Rauner Hires Mean Tougher Stance on School Funding?

Jul 13, 2017

The shakeup in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office could signal a tougher stance on school funding.

The state spending plan requires adoption of a new funding formula, but Rauner has promised to veto the plan that got legislative approval.

The standoff might make the lawsuit filed by 20 school superintendents more relevant. The lawsuit, filed in April, demands that Illinois honor its constitutional obligation to provide a high quality education for all students.

Matt Seaton, superintendent of Streator Township High School District, said that can’t happen if the state doesn’t enact a school funding plan. So his board just voted to join the court action.

“Schools are going to be in a less-capable position to meet the standards placed on us by the state if nothing passes," Seaton said.

The state has asked the court to dismiss the case. The governor has replaced several top staff with people from the conservative Illinois Policy Institute, which has opposed the new school formula formula that lawmakers passed.