MURPHYSBORO — Two local school superintendents and a state administrator are set to host a town hall meeting Thursday to tell the community how the governor's recent veto of a school-funding plan impacts them.
The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at McElvain School, 593 Ava Road, in Murphysboro.
Chris Grode, Murphysboro schools superintendent; Ed Shoemate, Cobden schools superintendent; and Brent Clark, of the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), will lead the meeting.
They are hoping to educate the community about what the amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 — evidence-based school funding — means to public schools and their children's education. The veto makes money unavailable for school spending.
The governor vetoed the bill over his opposition to the state paying for the pensions of Chicago educators, which is part of the school reform plan. Now, a three-fifths vote in both the Senate and the House is needed to either override Rauner’s changes or approve them. If lawmakers cannot get the votes, the legislation will die.
As it is now, Murphysboro schools can operate through November, Grode said, before administrators have to find some other sort of funding plan. He said the district receives about 60 percent of its funding from state aid.
"Really what they need to do is listen to the information and decide what they think is right," Grode said. "What we want to do is inform the community of the facts, so they can then inform their (representatives on how they want them to vote)."
He said a lot of people have been talking about the pensions of Chicago educators, which are impacted by SB1, who agreed with the evidence-based funding, but disagree with that aspect of the bill.
"Either way, what we want is a model of funding that’s fair throughout the state, that punishes no one throughout the state and is a drastic step forward," Grode said. "This (SB1) would be a huge catapult in improvement. Do you throw the baby (Chicago pension funding) out with the bathwater? There are no great laws that come out of any government entity."
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