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'Pass Illinois' Budget' Effort Calls for End of Impasse

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Superintendent Dr. David Moyer joins more than 400 school chiefs from across the state, representing 1.35 million students, in calling for the Illinois General Assembly to immediately pass a state budget. The grassroots initiative - called “Pass Illinois’ Budget!” - also urges lawmakers and Governor Rauner to improve the state’s education funding formula, and pay school districts millions of dollars owed in unpaid bills this year.

As legislators return to Springfield following their spring break, school districts are using school marquees to share their frustration with the state budget crisis and taking to social media with a call to #PassILBudget. As of April 24, 2017, the state now owes District 205 $3,670,579 and has been operating without a full budget for the past 22 months.

“I stand with over 400 superintendents from across the state in a call for action,” said Dr. Moyer. “We need to end the impasse now and move forward with a budget that will serve the two million K-12 Illinois public school students who represent our future.”

The superintendents are calling on members of the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor to do the following:

  • Immediately, and with bipartisan support, end the state budget impasse.
  • Improve the state’s education funding formula and invest in students and schools, including higher education, throughout the state.
  • Pay school districts what they are owed this year.

While K-12 education has benefited from a partially-funded state budget, Illinois schools, students, families, and communities will continue to suffer without a full state budget. Districts will continue to struggle if “Mandated Categoricals,” state payments which support special education, bilingual education, transportation, and other important services, do not get paid this year. District 205 has not received three categorical payments this year. Here are the largest funds due:

  • Transportation -$990,078.06
  • Special Education - $2,616,602.18
  • State Free Lunch - $1,818.25
  • Driver’s Education - $22,080.28
  • Early Childhood - $40,000.00

State revenue accounts for about 8.13 percent of District 205’s operating budget or $9,341,790. The General State Aid payments, which support general operating expenses, are being paid on time, however, the categorical payments are not. District 205 has not received any categorical payments this year with the exception of one late quarter payment from last fiscal year.

"Because this money reimburses costs to existing programming, and because the majority of these services are required by law, the District will likely have to consider either spending down its fund balance, which is an unsustainable solution, or study options to reduce spending in other programming areas in which discretionary decisions are possible," noted Dr. Moyer.

More than 400 superintendents, representing 66 percent of Illinois’ public school students from Carbondale to Chicago to Rockford have joined the effort. Please see press release link below to view the list. Please also reference the Frequently Asked Questions document via the link below.

Posted by: Melea Smith, District Admin, Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Published:4/24/17
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