Vallas: Rauner Plan Would Cost Schools $4 Billion
By The Associated Press, with Additional Reporting from Illinois Public Radio
Governor Pat Quinn's running mate is attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's budget plan for Illinois - this time targeting its impact on schools.
Democrat Paul Vallas says Rauner's promises to both put more money into schools while also cutting property taxes is unfeasible.
Rauner won the GOP nomination with a promise bring the state income tax down to three percent --- a move Vallas says will leave a $4 billion hole in the state's education budget.
Vallas produced a study that shows the sort of impact that will have on individual school districts.
Rauner has repeatedly said he wants Illinois to "grow its way" out of deficits; meaning that he believes building a more robust economy, not raising taxes, will bring in more revenue to pay for things like schools.
But Vallas says Rauner's vision is impossible.
"You're not going to grow to the tune of $8 billion in two years or even for that matter, three or four years ... You're talking about devastating local school budgets," he said.
Besides the state's contribution to schools, funded by the income tax, it's local property taxes that are schools' main source of funding. And while Rauner says he will freeze property taxes, Vallas says a lower state income tax rate would actually force schools to hike property taxes.
Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the numbers Vallas uses "are just made up.''
He says even though Quinn raised the tax 67 percent in 2011, he cut school spending by $500 million. He says Rauner will "fully fund our schools.''