The words “state budget” and “Illinois” don't go together much lately, but that is not stopping the Illinois State Board of Education from putting together its funding request for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The board is asking for enough money to fulfill the required $6119 in per-pupil spending. Board member Curt Bradshaw goes there – saying that would be something different.
“One of the biggest challenges that we have faced,” he says, “is the fact that the state doesn't follow its own laws! It says in statute that we should be funding a foundation level of $6119, and we haven't done that for years.”
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Superintendent Tony Smith adds that simply cutting equally from everybody does not work.
“Some people have three meals, and some people have one meal,” he illustrates. “If you cut one meal, you've got some people who are starving, and some people who still have got two meals.”