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