Tick Tock: 722 Days Without a Budget
Rauner’s Refusal to Compromise Causes Panic Among Educators, Parents
Chicago, IL — As the school year comes to a close, school districts across the state are uncertain as to whether they will reopen for students in the fall. Educators and parents are panicking over the threat of K-12 education not receiving any state funding as Bruce Rauner pushes Illinois into its third year without a state budget.
An administrator at the second largest school district in the state, U-46, tells the Daily Herald "all the funding stops" if Bruce Rauner doesn’t sign a budget by July 1. U-46 is owed $24 million from the state that covers bilingual education and early childhood education, among other programs.
“The Springfield School District could open this fall, but would run out of money by January,” reports the State Journal-Register of the district that is $10 million short in state payments.
In Belleville, an assistant superintendent says “getting through that last half of September could be a challenge" according to the Belleville News-Democrat. That Metro East district is waiting for $3.2 million from the state for transportation and special education.
"Same old thing as last year. Are we going to be able to open? How long can we stay open?” a frustrated Harrisburg superintendent tells WSIL. The superintendent also endorsed Senate Bill 1—the education funding bill that Bruce Rauner plans to veto even though he supports 90% of it.
A McHenry County high school district would be able to survive for now, but a Huntly superintendent says, “I would be very concerned about draining our reserves just to operate without a state budget,” according to the Northwest Herald.
The anxiety has spread to parents in Chicago, with one CPS parent telling ABC 7 Chicago, “we're definitely hunkered down and committed to CPS, although if this budget situation continues, we will at some point need to take a look around. You need to do the right thing for your kid…”
On Tuesday, instead of acting to alleviate the widespread distress among families across the state, Bruce Rauner provided Illinoisans with a 3-minute sham “unity” address. Rauner called on legislators to support the Republican “Capitol Compromise,” a partisan budget written behind closed doors. 722 days later and Illinoisans are still getting the same political games and no results from their failed governor.
“While Illinois has gone a record 722 days without a budget, Bruce Rauner would rather fake compromise than bring legislators together to pass a fair budget,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Rauner talks a big game, but he doesn’t have the courage to face the budget crisis he’s inflicted on our state. Illinois needs a leader, not a coward in Springfield, and Illinois families deserve a real budget, not sham speeches and fake compromises.”