A new year, an old story. There’s not enough money for schools. Before an Illinois House committee, Illinois State Board of Education chairman Gery Chico said school districts have had to fire teachers and expand class sizes because of budget cuts.
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“Over the past three years state funding to Pre-K to 12 education has been reduced by $861 million,” he said. State superintendent Christopher Koch elaborates on the board’s budget recommendation. “The board is basing its recommendation on what is required to fund education, as required in state law,” Koch said. Currently the law requires a foundation level of $6,119 per pupil. But the reduction in education funding has meant that legal obligation to our schools and more than 2 million students has not been met.”
For Fiscal Year 2014, the board is requesting $874 million more than what was received Fiscal Year 2013. The House Appropriations for Elementary and Secondary Education Committee heard from the school people six days after the governor proposed a budget that actually cuts money from education.