Gov. Rauner signs bill to increase funding for schools - KMOV.com

Gov. Rauner signs bill to increase funding for schools

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(Credit: CNN) A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school. (Credit: CNN) A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved legislation to increase state funding for education, ensuring classrooms remain open amid an ongoing budget fight.

The Republican signed a bill Wednesday that provides $269 million more to K-12 and early childhood education in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Rauner says "education is the most important thing we do as a community."

The governor proposed raising education funding by $344 million, though he also called for large cuts to social services and programs such as Medicaid.

Rauner has said he won't approve Democrats' full spending plan, which made smaller cuts to those programs but is more than $3 billion short of revenue.

But he says he signed the school-funding measure because schools shouldn't be held "hostage" as part of the budget dispute.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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