Despite Budget, Illinois Schools Still Unsure of Funding

Jul 12, 2017

The state of Illinois has a budget. But, that's not the case for the state's K through 12 schools.

Mt. Vernon Schools Superintendent Aletta Lawrence says the spending plan can't appropriate money for schools unless a new funding formula also wins approval.

"Even though we do have a budget now for the state of Illinois, we don't actually have a funding mechanism for the K-12 schools. So, we're still a little about there in the dark as to how much exactly we're going to have for the upcoming school year."
Lawrence says the uncertainty makes it very difficult for school administrators to do their jobs.
"When we make a budget, you expect to get the revenues that you're promised, and when that doesn't happen, other things have to fall by the way side in order for you to come up with a balanced budget."

Lawrence says her district - like other schools - needs this resolved right away.
"We have to have our revenue and our expenditures for the entire year ready at our August board meeting. Then, they get to sit there for about a month, for 30 days, for the public to review our budget for the upcoming FY18 year. So, at that time we do have the opportunity that we can make changes if we need to."
A small bipartisan group is trying to find a compromise that will win Governor Rauner's approval on the funding formula measure.