State's in tizzy but RF schools sitting pretty

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By Thomas Vogel

Staff Reporter

Even as uncertainty over public school funding roils Springfield, River Forest's elementary schools will not only open on time, with money in the bank, but District 90 just announced that Moody's has further upgraded its bond rating.

The district now has an Aa1 rating from Moody's, meaning its obligations are "of high quality and subject to very low credit risk."

"The district is gratified to receive this upgraded high quality bond rating," Supt. Ed Condon said in a press release. "The rating reaffirms District 90's efforts to develop and implement sound fiscal policies and practices." 

With a strong local property tax base and only five percent of its overall funding reliant on Springfield, River Forest elementary schools will open as planned on Aug. 24.

While the Illinois legislature approved a state budget July 6 political battles over school funding continue between the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner. In May, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1, which launched a new statewide school funding model intended to lessen funding inequities between wealthier and poorer districts in Illinois. Rauner issued an amendatory veto Aug 1, in part due to his claim that the bill provides a bailout to Chicago's public schools.  Lawmakers can now override Rauner's veto, agree to his revision or the bill dies. The first payments to local school districts are due Aug 11. 

"Recent media reports are alerting the public to the alarming fact that state funding from K-12 public schools may be in jeopardy this year due to the lack of a state budget," Condon wrote in a letter to parents earlier in the summer. "Due to decades of strong community support, sound fiscal policy and responsible financial management, District 90 is fortunate to have the resources to weather the current budget crisis."

 Thomas Vogel

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