School funding debate continues in special session

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- School districts across Illinois will soon expect their checks from Springfield so they can open for the new year. Right now, those funds are held up and Democrats and Governor Rauner continue their feud.

Lawmakers are back at in Springfield today.   This time the fight is over school funding.

Rather than sitting down to negotiate they're shouting at each other.

At issue is Senate Bill 1 - educating funding.  The measure passed both the House and Senate.

But the Democrats have been holding onto it since May 31.

Gov Rauner is vowing to use amendatory veto to change the bill.

SB1 increases funding to every kindergarten to 12th grade school district in Illinois based on need. It uses evidence such as class-size ratio and technology.

Democrats and Republicans agree on that portion of the formula.  The issue is a Chicago Public Schools.

CPS is looking for help paying its teacher pension. It's the only district in the state that does not have its pension covered by Springfield.

Under SB1, CPS would get $293 million. Rauner is looking to remove $145 million of that.

Democrats says all they're trying to do is create pension parity. They also question the legality of Rauner's veto plan.

Rauner has rebuffed their request for a meeting to go over the details.

Senate President John Cullerton and Rauner had a nasty back and forth about meeting.

Cullerton says he'll send the bill to Rauner's desk on Monday. But he warns an amendatory veto could kill the plan all together, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board just days before the start of the school year.

“You know he's had a bad month,” Cullerton said. “We've overridden him four times. Half his staff was either fired or quit. And I just wanted to have a meeting with him so we can talk rationally about what's in the bill.”

“The governor has adopted a no compromise position that will keep the state in chaos for weeks and months,” said House Speaker Mike Madigan.

“This is fundamentally wrong. This is vicious manipulation of the Democratic process for political gain,” Rauner said.  “There is no legitimate reason for that education funding bill not to have been sent to me already.”

The special session is expected to continue through Friday and then again on Monday.