Illinois set for fight on school funding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois has its belated state budget, but the state Capitol’s next flash point in the political struggle over finances is about how to fund public education with just weeks before the first day of school.

The spending plan lawmakers enacted this month over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes ended a two-year state-budget stalemate, the nation’s longest since at least the Great Depression. It includes a $350 million boost for schools.

But it also includes a provision aimed at forcing Rauner’s approval of an altered funding formula that he contends unfairly pushes extra money to the nation’s third-largest school district, in Chicago.

Rauner has suggested he will veto that school funding method, which could leave the state with no plan to allocate general state education aid and jeopardize schools’ opening.

The Republican promised Friday there will be no extended summer vacation.

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