SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner emerged briefly in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday to address dozens of charter school supporters who were in town promoting school choice.
Rauner’s appearance comes in a week when he’s made few of them, instead penning a column in the Springfield State Journal-Register that warns lawmakers it could be a long summer if they refuse to adopt his agenda.
“Thank you for your commitment to high-quality education. Every parent, every child in the state of Illinois deserves a choice to go to a good school. Every parent, regardless of of ZIP code . . . doesn’t matter the neighborhood, doesn’t matter the income level, every child deserves a choice for high-quality schools,” Rauner told the crowd on Thursday. “I want to expand your charter network. I want high-quality charters in every community in Illinois.”
“I, as governor, will do everything I can to support increased school funding, equal funding for charter schools and make sure that charters are supported,” Rauner told the crowd.
Rauner then talked about how he and his wife, Diana, hold deep commitments to education and charter schools. He referenced previous donations to charter schools as well as Rauner’s work in the private sector for private equity firm GTCR.
Rauner made reference to the millions of dollars he made investing public pensions for Illinois teachers.
“I’ve invested teachers’ pension money, I’ve done very well. . . . I’ve taken that money and the No. 1 place I’ve donated that — millions of dollars — to charter schools,” he said.
Rauner’s office did not announce the governor’s appearance before charter supporters, listing no public schedule for the governor on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Earlier in the day, members of SEIU Health Care, rallied outside the state Capitol, castigating huge fees that firms such as GTCR charge the state to invest public pension money.