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State

Rauner calls education achievements most important of administration

Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner

In his final time taking questions from the media, Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday his top achievement in office was improving K-12 education.

Rauner specifically cited education funding reform, improved early childhood education programs and a program to provide scholarships for low-income students to attend private and parochial schools as the high points of the education changes.

Although he did not mention it initially, Rauner said the Janus decision that eliminated fair share fees for people who do not want to belong to public employee unions ranked “very, very high” on the administration’s list of accomplishments. The Rauner administration brought the initial lawsuit challenging the fees, but the courts said Rauner didn’t have standing to pursue the lawsuit.

Rauner held the availability in his Capitol office to discuss a report he is required to deliver to the General Assembly as his administration comes to a close. Although all governors are required to prepare the report, none has done so in nearly 20 years, Rauner said.

The report won’t be delivered until today, after new lawmakers are sworn into office. Rauner said it will include his recommendations for changes the state should adopt to promote government efficiency, economic development and better government ethics. He said much of it will be repeated from his initial “turnaround agenda” of dozens of items that he came into office seeking to pass. The Democratic-controlled General Assembly rejected almost all of them.

Rauner said he doesn’t know precisely what he will do next but said he plans to return to business endeavors.

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