Rauner Running Cynical and Disingenuous Campaign on SB1
Rauner Called Out for Pushing Unverified Numbers and Refusing to Articulate Any Plan for School Funding
In a bizarre press conference today, Governor Bruce Rauner repeatedly dodged direct questions about his plans for SB1. In addition, Rauner called for Democrats to send him SB1 so that he could amendatory veto the legislation, but refused to spell out what his changes will actually entail.
Perhaps Rauner’s reluctance to talk to address the specifics of SB1 has to do with his general campaign of misinformation regarding the school funding formula. Greg Hinz of Chicago Crain’s writes that Rauner has “decided to demonize part of his electorate, Chicago, in a way I haven’t seen in this state’s politics for many decades” and he’s “cherry-picking” numbers to do it. Hinz continues:
“Rauner, for instance, while wailing about those fat-cat Chicago teachers and their big pensions, is promoting a website that shows how much other districts would get under his school funding plan. The trouble is in the fine print: The site purports to redistribute money that would come not from pension funding but from phased-out block grants. Apparently taking away money from impoverished kids in Chicago isn’t as popular as whacking teacher pensions.”
Worse, Friday Rauner admitted the state’s school board of education was not even involved in the math behind Rauner’s planned veto, and instead the work was done by unnamed administration people. Dusty Rhodes of NPR Illinois writes:
“He hasn’t shown the work behind his calculations, and said he didn’t know whether the Illinois State Board of Education had been involved in the creation of the spreadsheet. ISBE, which is headed by Rauner appointees, traditionally models funding proposals using their in-depth database. Full models of other proposals, including SB1, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and SB1124, sponsored by Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) are available at isbe.net.”
It sure seems like Governor Rauner’s concerned about the policy here.
“Bruce Rauner’s actions these past two weeks showed a governor more concerned about his reelection than about making sure schools open on time,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner has pursued a campaign of misinformation designed to divide one state against the other, and today Rauner’s cynical strategy was exposed when he refused to address direct questions about his plans for SB1. Illinois families have seen this failed style of leadership when Bruce Rauner dragged the state through a two-year budget impasse that drove jobs and people from the state.”