Illinois Senate votes to override Gov. Rauner's veto as students -

Illinois Senate votes to override Gov. Rauner's veto as students head back to school

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BETHALTO (  - The Illinois State Senate voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a plan for public school funding.

“The numbers show my plan is better for the state, making education funding fair and equitable for the first time in Illinois,” Gov. Rauner said ahead of the vote

But supporters of Senate Bill 1 say the Governor’s veto and attached provisions would devastate school districts.

Most schools in the Metro East start this week. Bethalto School District starts on Wednesday and the superintendent says while doors will open for incoming students, the question of how long is real.

“There’s no rhetoric, its reality for us,” said Dr. Jill Griffin, the superintendent at Bethalto.

Dr. Griffin says they have enough money to get through September, but they’re worried about October and beyond.

“I feel like while some of our state level legislators have failed us failed our children our county government is stepping up,” said Griffin.

She said Madison County plans to release local property taxes early in an effort to help with school funding.

Last week the state of Illinois missed their school aid payments for the first time in state history. For Bethalto that was $400,000.

With the state funding system in an uncertain place, parents are also struggling to talk to their students about the ongoing budget crisis.

“It’s frustrating that the kids have to think about it because they’re asking questions, wondering what’s going to happen if school has to shut down and how it will affect the rest of the year,” said Karrie Denney.

Denney’s two boys start their senior year this week. If schools like Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto have to close because of lack of funding it would cancel sports, school events and possibly even push back the school year into summer vacation.

“The political infighting in Springfield is putting a significant financial strain on the school district, but even if we are forced to close our doors for a period of time, we will reopen once revenues begin to flow, complete the 2017-2018 school year, and begin planning for the 2018-2019 school year,” it says on the Bethalto School District website.

The next step is for the Governor’s veto to go to the House. The House meets on Wednesday but they have 15 days to take up the bill.

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