Dist. 54 Will Not Get 51 Percent from State

Article excerpt

Byline: Lynne Rauch

For the past several weeks, our newspapers have been covering the Governor's proposed budget for the State of Illinois for the fiscal year 2002-2003. In School District 54, our focus is on the educational funding in the budget.

When one looks at the proposed budget, specifically the educational line item, we see that the Governor is proposing that the State allocate 51% of its budget to education. It is important to realize that school districts in the Northwest suburbs, including District 54, will not receive funding at the 51% level.

In fact, our district receives only approximately 13% from state funding and 3% from federal funding. Put simply, this means our local taxpayers are funding 84% of the educational costs associated with operation of our schools.

It is true that our state reflects the economic situation of our nation with declining revenues. Consequently, in order to meet the 51% commitment, other items from the educational budget must be cut or eliminated. It is proposed that the funding our district receives from the state for the average daily attendance block grant be eliminated and that those dollars be reallocated to help provide funding for other school districts.

To make matters worse, other grant dollars we normally receive will be either reduced our eliminated. If this happens, what District 54 programs will be affected? Programs most affected will be those that often support the needs of special students. …