|Governor Quinn has publicly stated that he would like to reduce the number of school districts in Illinois from the current 867 to 300 school districts. With no support from the State Legislature on that issue, another path is being taken, which is to cut funding to education. Below is an article that comes from the office of Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and was sent to Superintendents across the state. For further information, visit the ‘recent news conference’ link toward the bottom of this article.
Bad news for public schools
February 28, 2014
Not only will they likely not get the $1 billion in increased funding that the Illinois State Board of Education requested, it’s possible that public schools could see their current funding cut by almost $1 billion.
That’s the reality of an upcoming budget that must deal with declining revenues and increased costs in required programs.
The Illinois House and Senate agreed this past week that there will be substantially less money available in the coming budget year to support education and other key programs.
By law, state taxes will be cut next Jan. 1, resulting in a big drop-off in available revenues.
At the same time, the state must spend more to keep up with required pension payments, legally binding contracts and federal funding requirements.
The two combined blow a nearly $3 billion hole in the upcoming budget.
This backs up a dire budget picture painted by Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton at a recent news conference.
This looming decline in state support comes as the Illinois State Board of Education officials told lawmakers they need an extra $1 billion to maintain and improve educational quality in the state’s public schools.
Budgeting committees in the Senate and House recently began meeting at the Capitol to address this situation. More meetings are planned in the upcoming weeks..
Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to unveil his budget plan on March 26.