Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By: Destiny Gomez, Kim Boyd, and Alexandria Devlin
Residents of Illinois know about the state’s inability to compromise on a state budget, and as the end of the fiscal year quickly approaches, children in grades K-12 are faced with the possibility of their school unable to remain open.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) backed a Republican proposal Monday to fully fund schools for the first time in seven years, a proposal that would cost an additional $160 million. Rauner criticized efforts by the Democratic majority of the legislature that would “bail out” Chicago Public Schools.
As of now, primary and secondary schools will be open for a fall semester but will not have the government funding to keep their doors open and students in their building for the second semester.
Funding Illinois colleges can cause a huge problem to the welfare of the state, Charlie Wheeler, a longtime statehouse journalist told high school students visiting the capital Monday. Many higher education students will have an option of receiving in-state intuition from surrounding states. Schools have received as high as 30 percent of their budget from the state, Wheeler noted.
The proposed stop gap to be considered on Wednesday in Springfield provides the Illinois State Board of Education funding of about $600 million, which would provide temporarily relief to schools according to the Journal Gazette & Times Courier.
“Rauner backs a GOP plan that would fully fund schools for the first time in seven years…the proposal would increase general state aid to schools by $160.1 million.” Dan Petrella, wrote in the JG&TC.
Schools have managed to reduce their spending by defunding many school programs such as music, sports and the arts while also reducing their staff.
Angered by the lost of school sponsered activities, students will react in a way that would have the administration feeling guilty about the lost of govenment assistence.
As the Illinois General Assembly gather to discuss the state budget, schools across Illinois gather around regarding the financial situation they will face in the upcoming school year.