Illinois misses school payment for first time ever - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Lack of school funding bill causes state to miss payment

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The lack of a school funding bill has caused Illinois to miss its payment to local schools for the first time in state history.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she is directing $429 million in mandated categorical grants to help provide cash to schools in the absence of General State Aid payments. 

"Our office has been preparing for this contingency. Failure to sign General State Aid funding legislation allowing payment to school districts statewide meant monies reserved this week for that purpose, combined with additional cash management strategies, could be utilized to pay the grants already owed to those districts. Categorical payments cover transportation, special education and other costs," said the comptroller's office in a statement.

The budget passed by lawmakers over Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto last month requires an "evidence-based" school funding formula for money to pass through to schools. Democrats passed Senate Bill 1 to implement such a formula, but Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto to the bill, arguing it is a "Chicago bailout." 

Democrats and Republicans appear to be at a stalemate on school funding, with a supermajority needed to affirm the governor's veto or override it. The Senate is expected to vote on a veto override on Sunday, but a House effort couldn't succeed with at least four Republicans. 

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