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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

Oh, SNAP! Gov Vetoes Aid For Vocational Students

State of Illinois drawn on chalkboard
Carter Staley
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a dozen bills late Friday. Among them: House Bill 3211, a measure that would help low-income students qualify for federal SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. Statewide, that amounts to about 40,000 low-income students, says State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford), who sponsored the measure.


“It had a ton of sponsors, it had overwhelming bipartisan support, it was one of those bills that just made sense,” she says.

Even Rauner praised the legislation, saying it would help students stay enrolled. But he used his amendatory veto power to strike the first paragraph of the bill — the part that said those students should be notified they’re eligible for SNAP. The Governor said those notices wouldn’t be the best use of limited funds.   

The Illinois House is scheduled to meet Wednesday to consider a major k-12 school funding bill, and possibly take up other matters, such as HB 3211. But because regular session has already ended, it will take a three-fifths vote to save even a portion of the bill, Wallace says.

“So creating that eligibility for those vocational students pretty much does get wiped away if we don’t take any action on the amendatory veto,” she says.


After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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