Rockford Public Schools could lose more than $2 million if legislators approve a 2.25 percent across-the-board cut to the state budget. The House of Representatives approved House Bill 317 this afternoon. The Senate still must hear the bill.
“It’s concerning,” said Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. “We understand the state is working with limited resources, but schools across the state are already forced to make difficult financial decisions. We serve students who are especially vulnerable. Additional cuts would be devastating.”
The state has cut nearly $1 billion in K-12 education funding since 2009. And in the last four years, the state has paid districts only a portion of what’s due for general education funding through General State Aid. In a release last week, the Illinois State Board of Education explained that even when adjusted for inflation, the proposed fiscal 2016 budget amount is 5.2 percent less than fiscal 2009 levels. Districts are struggling to make ends meet, yet offer necessary services for students.
Under the amendment to House Bill 317, the state would effectively pay school districts only 87 percent of the General State Aid payments they are owed this school year. If approved, new legislation would be effective immediately.