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School officials uncertain if veto leads to longer wait for funding

Some school officials are worried Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent veto on school funding legislation could lead to a lengthier wait for public schools to receive funding.

Regional Superintendent Chris Dvorak said a concern for public districts with the veto is that it could delay distribution of $350 million in state funds.

Rauner issued a veto Monday to legislation stating it wouldn’t let about three dozen private schools participate in a new scholarship program.

The Invest in Kids Act is a five-year tax credit scholarship program awarding scholarships to eligible students who attend qualified non-public schools in Illinois.

This list of qualified schools currently includes six in La Salle County including Peru Catholic School, St. Michael the Archangel School, Holy Family Elementary School, Holy Cross Elementary School and Marquette Academy.

The veto holds up legislation the Illinois State Board of Education requested to move forward with a new funding formula that would prioritize poor and needy schools.

A lot of superintendents are left with questions and no answers, but it’s business as usual until those answers arrive.

“We keep the status quo,” said Streator High School Superintendent Matt Seaton. “We had not received state money yet as the ISBE has been doing a series of information gathering. They need information and it’s taking time and I understand that. I’d rather they get it right the first time than make an error and have to go back and change it later on.”

Seaton said he’s unsure if the veto will lead to a delay in funding and hopes to know more during the next legislative session.

“Hopefully we’ll know more by the end of the month,” Seaton said. “The ISBE told us the earliest we’d receive funding would be April at this point anyway.”

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