District Stakeholder Letter June 20 2017

District Stakeholder Letter
Posted on 06/20/2017
District Stakeholder Letter

TO ALL DISTRICT STAKEHOLDERS

Click to download a printable copy

The following information was recently provided to the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board by four colleagues of mine. I am copying the information below with their permission. Please review it carefully. Please contact our local legislators, the legislative leaders and the Governor’s office today and demand that they reach a compromise on a fully funded, balanced state budget immediately. I fear that failure on the part of our legislators, the legislative leaders and the Governor to reach a budget deal immediately will have dire consequences for our state, our community and most importantly, District 205. Thank you in advance for your help getting a state budget passed.

Ralph Grimm

 



We are asking for a comprehensive state budget, an improved education funding formula and for the state to pay school districts what they are owed this year, $1.1 billion in Mandated Categorical payments. 

The absence of categorical payments is proration on steroids.  Proration is the process where there is not enough revenue to fully fund schools so the state allocates less than 100% funding. In previous years, proration has ranged from 87% to 93%. For some districts, missing categorical payments are tantamount to General State Aid being prorated at 44%.

When districts projected their yearly budgets, they budgeted for funds that were promised to them by the state. Now, school districts will have a significant budget deficits, and in some cases, deficits requiring a combination of significant reductions, cuts and borrowing to compensate for the state’s lack of funding.  Our overarching philosophy throughout this budget impasse has been to keep reductions as far away from classrooms as possible.  At this point, that may no longer be possible without a reasonable and fair funding solution.

A stopgap budget is not a budget that is funded or that follows any equitable funding formula.  It still promotes ambiguity because it is not a plan; it is only a band-aid to a bigger problem.  It is not something we can use to make good business decisions for our school districts.  A stopgap budget continues to kick the can down the road.  We need our General Assembly to make the difficult decisions now and do the job they were elected to do.

With a stopgap budget, it does not address the revenue issue. Other than Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the rest of school districts in the state do not have the latitude to make program reductions for the Fall to meet their deficit.  Meaning, the only ways school districts can rectify deficit budgets are to spend down reserves, craft deficit budgets or take on more debt through borrowing strategies.

Downstate stopgap implications cut even deeper. Downstate school districts have already made tough reductions including extracurricular offerings, transportation and course offerings.  Districts statewide are now resorting to delaying payments to vendors so they can maintain payroll and absolute expenditures.

As you can see, not having a comprehensive budget has compounding effects not only for education but for businesses and our communities. 

Once again, we are advocating for passage of a comprehensive state budget, an improved education funding formula and for the state to pay districts what they are owed this year.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeff Craig, Superintendent, West Aurora School District 129
Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent, Sandoval SD 501
Tony Sanders, CEO, SD U-46
Dr. Karen Sullivan, Superintendent, Indian Prairie SD 204



LEGISLATOR CONTACT INFORMATION

Rep. Dan Swanson
536 Oxford Ave. Suite D
Woodhull, IL 61490
(309) 334-7474

240-W Stratton Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8032
 
Senator Chuck Weaver
5415 N. University, Suite 105
Peoria, IL 61614
(309) 693-4923

M103C State Capital Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9586
 
Rep. Norine Hammond
331 N. Lafayette St.
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 836-2707

209-N Stratton Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0416
rephammond@macomb.com

 
Senator Jil Tracy
3701 East Lake Centre Dr. Suite 3
Quincy, IL 62305
(217) 223-0833

207 N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8096
 

 
Rep. Michael Madigan
300 Capitol Buildling
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5350
 
Senator John Cullerton
327 Capital Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2728
 
Rep. James Durkin
316 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0494
durkin@ILHouseGOP.org

 
Senator Christine Radogno
105A Capital Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9407
 

 
Governor Bruce Rauner
207 State Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0244
 

 
Rep. Randy Frese
230 N. Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217)782-8096
repfrese@adams.net

             



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