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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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February 20, 2002

Statement of State Superintendent of Education Respicio Vazquez Regarding Governor George H. Ryan's State of the State/Budget Message

"Governor Ryan is again to be commended for his continuing commitment to Illinois education, particularly in these challenging fiscal times.

"The Governor's proposed budget for education differs considerably from the budget proposal approved by the State Board of Education in January.

"The State Board's budget, which was prepared using the best revenue projection data available at the time, requested a total of $6.457 billion in state general funds and it supported many important statewide efforts to improve the quality and availability of educational opportunities for all children while recognizing the fiscal difficulties faced by the state.

"But the assumptions on which our budget proposal was made have changed further. It is clear the state is in critical financial condition and in the long range, as far as education is concerned, there has never been a more important time for Illinoisans to address seriously the overall way in which public education is funded.

"The State Board will analyze carefully the Governor's budget proposal to assess its impact on school districts and their ability to provide services. We look forward to working with our partners in the education community and with the Governor and the General Assembly to arrive at a final budget that best serves the needs of Illinois' two million school children."

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777