Illinois State Education Board recommends full funding

By Alyssa Donovan

February 12, 2013 Updated Feb 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM CDT

The Illinois State Board of Education is proposing a fully funded budget for 2014.

The budget proposal from the Illinois State Board of Education has Illinois lawmakers saying 'let's be honest.’ That's because the state already owes Illinois schools more than $900 million.

The proposal calls for an $875 million increase above the current year. State Representative David Leitch said there are more pressing matters on the budget like pension payments and Medicaid.

"We will have a very tight budget year and that makes the suggestions that we can put more money into education or anywhere else for that matter problematic," said Leitch, (D) 73rd district.

Morton School District Superintendent Lindsey Hall said the state only paid 89 percent of the general state aid last year.

"Our board of education is not asking for anything more than what we are essentially owed with the state funding formulas and how general state aid is appropriated to schools," said Hall.

State Representative Mike Unes said legislators and educators need to be truthful with themselves and truthful with their schools and realize they only have a certain amount of funding.

"When you know at the outset that the money your proposing isn't going to be there at the end of the day that's a really untruthful game to play and that's a really cruel game that has been played with our school districts for far too long," said Unes, (R) 91st. district.

Unes says before any funding decisions are made the appropriations committee must set expected revenues for the year.

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