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SB1 is a mess, hinted Private School tax breaks, City and State Divisiveness

Picturephoto by Eric E Castro

by Daniel Johanson

For those trying to follow along, Senate Bill 1 has been a difficult process as city and state objectives aren’t seeing eye to eye. The most recent development was an August 1st veto by Gov. Rauner over a teacher’s pension dispute.

What this means is that until an agreement is made, the city of Chicago is not sure from where its schools’ funding will come.

​”It’s a shame that Bruce Rauner would put his own agenda before working families and Illinois school children,” Chicago Alderman and Democratic Candidate for Illinois Governer Ameya Pawar said. “Education advocates, teachers and school superintendents, editorial boards, and working families across the state have spoken out against Gov. Rauner’s threats to veto S.B.1, an evidence-based model for education funding that would provide more equity for our schools.”

The bill, in essence, provides a solution for the funding inequality in low-income city districts where property tax funding doesn’t cover the cost. The idea that the current system is flawed is widely agreed upon, with the bill passing in the house a couple months back.

As an agreement is worked towards, it seems Rauner has been in talks with many individual interests, including private and religious schools. 

According to an undisclosed source to the Sun-Times who had been working on the bill said a scholarship program to provide tuition help for parents of children in private schools is part of the public school funding deal.

In an article in The New Deal Journal, an outlet part of the Pawar Campaign, the author points out that these voucher programs have been a goal of Republicans across the country. The most widely noted evidence of this being Donald Trump appointing Voucher Program advocate Betsy Devos Secretary of Education.

“Taxpayer moneys should be distributed equitably to public schools,” Pawar wrote. “[It’s] dead wrong to give vouchers [or] tax credits for parochial [or] private schools.”

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