Which suburban schools will get some cut state funding back

  • Some suburban school districts are getting back a portion of state funds that had been lost to budget cuts.

    Some suburban school districts are getting back a portion of state funds that had been lost to budget cuts. Courtesy of Elgin Area school district U-46, 2007

Associated Press
Posted4/17/2015 5:30 AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Nearly 600 of the 800 Illinois school districts will have $97 million in state funding restored after a budget deal brokered last month between Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders cut money for education, with about one-third going to Chicago schools and the rest scattered among the other districts including many in the suburbs.

But even with millions coming back to schools across the state, it will not make up for a 2.25 percent across-the-board budget cut that included education. And school officials still have to worry about more funding problems as the state continues to grapple with an ongoing budget crisis that may prompt more budget cuts in the next fiscal year.


"School districts are not out of the woods yet," Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said.

The Illinois State Board of Education plan, approved Wednesday and supported by Rauner, identified districts that were likely to face financial crisis as a result of reductions. The plan also protects districts that have higher concentrations of low-income students and have lower available local resources.

Approval of the funding plan comes the same day the board of education also moved unanimously to select Anthony "Tony" Smith -- GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's recommendation to the board -- as its new superintendent.

The funds range from a few thousand dollars to $33 million for Chicago Public Schools. CPS is facing an estimated $1.1 billion budget deficit and its pension fund is billions short of what's needed to pay benefits as currently promised.

Thirty-two districts, including CPS, will get 95 percent of the cut restored. Another 546 districts will get about three-quarters of their funding put back, while the remaining 278 districts were determined not to be eligible.

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Elgin U-46 is among the districts receiving 73.6 percent of its funding cut back from the state.

Sanders said the district still is experiencing a loss of $18 million through grant freezes and the fund transfers from the budget deal.

The budget deal signed into law by Rauner last month transferred $1.3 billion from state funds that pay for a variety of programs and made 2.25 percent across the board cuts -- which included education -- to fill a $1.6 billion hole in the current budget. It also stipulated that the $97 million is for financially distressed school districts.

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