Rauner Stumps For More Educational Spending In Illinois

Feb 24, 2016

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continued stumping in favor of his school funding agenda Wednesday. He was in Springfield, touring a high school and speaking to teachers and students.

Gov. Bruce Rauner at Southeast High School in Springfield.
Credit Sarah Mueller WUIS

He told students Illinois lags far behind every other state in education spending and that Illinois depends too much on local property tax revenue.

"That's wrong," he said. "That denies a real equal chance at the American dream for low-income families because their parents can't afford the property taxes to pay for the best schools in America."

But Rauner criticized a proposal during his budget address last week that seeks to prop up poor districts by taking money from wealthier ones. Supporters of that change to the state's education funding formula said the governor's plan doesn't do enough to help low income kids.

Rauner has been traveling to public schools in the state, such as Peoria, Lombard and Chicago, in the past few day to push an increase in education spending. Most students at Southeast High School may not yet be old enough to vote, but that didn't stop a couple of teens from quizzing the governor on his budget proposals.

  Elena Winttenauer, a junior, asked how much Rauner wants to spend on education next year, but the governor didn't provide specifics.

"We have the money," he said. "We collect $33 billion dollars every year and only a fraction of that goes to schools."

However, Illinois has been spending at a rate far exceeding that amount. The governor also said he needs special power to make cuts to the budget before the state can fund higher education.​