Updated: Governor says school cuts coming

Updated: Governor says school cuts coming

SPRINGFIELD — Stepping up the campaign to make a temporary income tax increase permanent, Gov. Pat Quinn's office today released figures showing how each school district in the state would fare with the loss of $875 million in education funding statewide.

But one area Republican legislator said he didn't think the maneuver would be persuasive to state lawmakers facing a possible vote on extending the tax increase. State Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, called it "a very distasteful tactic."

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The Danville school district would suffer the greatest loss of any East Central Illinois school system, losing $4.5 million, according to the Governor's Office of Management and Budget. In order to make up for the loss in state aid, GOMB said, local property taxes would have to be increased 24.6 percent.

The Champaign school district, according to the GOMB, would lose $2.3 million. To make up for that loss, it said, property taxes would have to be increased 3.1 percent.

Urbana schools would lose $1.7 million. Aid to the Rantoul City School district would drop by $1.3 million, while Rantoul Township High School would lose $475,000.

State lawmakers are considering whether to make permanent the temporary income tax increase approved in 2011. It hiked the individual income tax from 3.75 percent to 5 percent. The 5 percent rate is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. The original tax increase was approved with only Democratic votes, and Republicans have said they won't provide any votes to make the tax hike permanent.

House Speaker Michael Madigan said Monday that he was "significantly short" of the 60 votes required to pass the measure in the House. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 31 and after that date, extending the tax rate would require a supermajority vote (three-fifths) in each house.

Hays said no Republicans would vote to continue the higher tax rate, and that many House Democrats also were angry with Quinn.

"I understand he got a very chilly reception from Democrats when he spoke to them Monday," he said. "To me it's illustrative of a leadership that has its priorities grossly out of order.

"This is a group that, despite spending more money than at any in state history does not prioritize education. You cannot come to the General Assembly in your budget address and claim to be the education governor, and then underfund education 11 percent less in the foundation level in the last two years. I think holding school districts and children hostage because your priorities upside-down and backwards is despicable."

About half the state's discretionary budget goes to education, the GOMB said, so approximately half the budget cut would come from Illinois' schools for the budget year beginning July 1.

The governor's office noted that state education Superintendent Chris Koch testified that teacher lay-offs and the expansion of class sizes would follow the budget cuts, and that some districts would have to eliminate all sports as well as extracurricular classes such as music and art.

The cuts in state aid to other area school districts include:

— Fisher $197,017

— Gifford $66,287

— Heritage $125,385

— Ludlow $53,090

— Mahomet-Seymour $1.29 million

— Prairieview-Ogden $30,831

— St. Joseph Grade School $360,061

— St. Joseph-Ogden High School $133,586

— Thomasboro $79,535

— Tolono Unit 7 $800,609

— Armstrong Township High School $13,667

— Armstrong-Ellis Grade school $20,138

— Bismarck Henning $378,258

— Catlin $254,820

— Georgetown Ridge Farm $719,462

— Hoopeston $849,650

— Jamaica $139,138

— Oakwood $542,492

— Westville $865,590

— Potomac $110,275

— Rossville Alvin $197,078

— Bement $92,369

— Cerro Gordo $200,461

— Deland Weldon $43,741

— Monticello $158,590

— Arcola $434,423

— Arthur $299,769

— Tuscola $242,677

— Villa Grove $322,730

— Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley $388,706

— Paxton-Buckley-Loda $596,443

— Edgar County Unit 6 $111,553

— Blue Ridge $207,897

— Clinton $403,556

— Kansas $90,383

— Paris $252,365

— Paris-Union $861,076

— Shiloh $121,180

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ATrain270 wrote on May 21, 2014 at 9:05 am

We wonder why public schools are hurting.  We don't value education in this country.  It's pathetic

School cuts are a regular thing, yet we fund many other ridiculous endeavours instead.  Add in the constant bureaucratic hoops that teachers have to jump through, and you wonder why it's so hard to keep the good ones around.

gftst wrote on May 21, 2014 at 10:05 am

Scary numbers but whats scarier is lawmakers continuously diverting money to their bet projects that are a complete waste of money and then say oh you dont want us to raise taxes so we're cutting school funding. Lets cut whats not important and fund our critical needs like education.

Fedupwithstatereps wrote on May 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I am SO sick of Quinn and others in Springfield threatening our schools everytime things don't go their way.  They had the benefit of the extra income for the past three years while families in Illinois did without and lawmakers have not moved one inch towards better budgets and funding sources.  It's time to stop this insanity!  Everyone get out and vote!  

tellingthetruth wrote on May 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm

We should be thankful, right? Their pensions are intact, Illinois is spending millions on bike paths and they are using taxpayers funds to bring in chickens from Kansas.  Seems smart to me to cut education funding.... pfffftt?  Good grief!  SMH

Hoopsjumpingmad wrote on May 21, 2014 at 6:05 pm

How about we kick that 100 million dollar tax dollars(back into education funding) for a presidential library that will not benifit anyone in Illinois but the City of Chicago.   Why doesn't Ram come up with his own dang donations to put the library in up there...    Tax payers should not be paying for a presidential library when all the rest of have been bought and paid for from private donations.....    Come Illinois Tax Payers Scream really loud and let Springfield here the Children of the Cornfields tell them they are fed up....

Diana Cooper wrote on May 22, 2014 at 6:05 am

I am fed up with this nonsense. Every time our government wants to increase our taxes they hold our weakest hostage.  Quinn does it with education. O'Bama does it with Medicare and Social Security. Even though Social Security is not a government owned program. I don't believe any of us want our property taxes raised 24%, so I sincerely hope the Republicans have a better plan to stop the increase, and not raise our taxes, as well as fund education. Our schools and children have suffered enough.

danrice56 wrote on May 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Cut constitutionally promised pensions to state employees, cut welfare funding to those who can barely scrape by now, cut education funding to the future of our country, but don't cut bloated politicians' salaries or pork projects or corporate welfare.

pattsi wrote on May 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Please help, on one hand the news is that school funding will be cut and on the other hand I just hear Vallas talk about Quinn's plans to fund education, during a visit this afternoon at the PASS program venue on Moreland Dr. In addition there has been a recent announcement about funding for Lincoln Challenge in Rantoul. My confusion is based on where are these monies coming from. Any ideas?.

thinks wrote on May 28, 2014 at 1:05 am

Illinois would be much better off with a prudent fiscal manager at the helm. If Governor Quinn is not able to balance the budget with the substantial income tax already levied in Illinois, he should step down and make room from someone who is competent to lead our state back into solvency. These sorts of bully tactics in Illinois are as old as corruption. Funding for education is not negotiable. Make a short list of like priorities, fund them to a decent level, and look at whatever's left for cuts, regardless of whose district they are in. And, in the future, if you ask voters and legislators to accept a temporary increase, keep your word. The voters are well beyond tired of politicians who don't keep their promises.