Every year Illinois state education officials hold several hearings to get ideas from the public about what schools need from the state budget.
And there were a lot of comments like this:
“We’re requesting $1.95 million… at least at the level of a million dollars… if we could get the $25 million that was cut last year back in…we’re asking that the state board maintain its recommendation of $2 million dollars.”
At a hearing last Friday, preschool funding and more money per student were concerns brought up most frequently from district officials and other advocates.
Last year, both were cut by the state legislature, even though education leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn requested increases or same-level funding.
State Superintendent Christopher Koch said this year, budget cuts again could have impact.
“Now we have a lot fewer lines,” Koch said. “Many of the lines, even the ones you heard advocated for today, are not even in the budget. They’ve just been zeroed out.”
The final budget hearing is today from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Granite City High School, southwest in the state.
The state board will release its final budget proposal in January, and Koch said they will continue to advocate to maintain education funding.
But ultimately, it’s in the hands of state legislators.