Town Hall meeting on SB1 evidence-based school funding

Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, talks about the impact of Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of SB1, an evidence-based school funding formula, at a meeting Thursday night at McElvain School in Murphysboro.

MURPHYSBORO — If state senators decide to not override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 1, there is no alternative school-funding mechanism for schools to return to, local superintendents said.

That means children would be unable to attend school in a few weeks, Carbondale Schools Superintendent Steve Murphy said at the end of a town-hall meeting on the vetoed evidence-based school funding plan. At least three of the superintendents present said that their district would have expected to have received their portion of state funding from the state.

The event was hosted by Murphysboro School Superintendent Chris Grode and others, and in which Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of Schools Administrators, gave an overview of the bill's history and the impact of its veto.

About 115 people filled the room at Murphysboro's McElvain School, listening to the hour-long presentation and then asking questions for about another hour. Other town-hall style sessions are planned for the state, including one for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at West Frankfort Middle School.

In the wake of the governor's veto, the bill will go back to the state Senate, whose members will have 15 days to decide whether or not to take action on it, Clark said.

"Once they receive this (end of August), the clock starts to tick," Clark said. "They have 15 days in which they need to take action if they're going to do something. If they do nothing, the bill dies. They're going to take action. They're coming back to Springfield on Sunday."

He said one possibility is legislators would call the amendatory veto and agree to it.

"Now, that will be sport and for show," Clark said. "You know why? It's going to crash in spectacular fashion. When that crashes, that's sending a message, 'Governor, your amendatory veto doesn't have sufficient support in the State Senate to advance to the House.' I guess we'll try to override it."

He and others at the meeting encouraged those in the audience to do something, to find ways to educate their neighbors and friends about the impact the veto would have on them and their children and then to reach out to their elected officials to seek their support of an override.

Some in the group talked about supporting protests or marches in Springfield.

For more information, visit Fix The Formula's website at www.FundingIlFuture.org.

stephanie.esters@thesouthern.com

618-351-5805

On Twitter: @scribeest

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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Murphysboro and Perry County.

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