FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2004
State Board of Education approves FY05 budget
(SPRINGFIELD) Advocating on behalf of cash strapped districts
statewide, the Illinois State Board of Education Thursday
approved the Fiscal Year 2005 elementary and secondary
education budget recommendation.
"We can move our educational system ahead or we
can continue to fall behind," State Superintendent
Robert Schiller said. "The State Board and I recognize
Illinois' financial situation but made the conscious decision
to ask the state to move education forward. The needs
outlined in this budget and articulated in our 2003
Condition of Education report are real and represent
the priorities and needs of the hundreds of district superintendents,
principals, teachers and students who voiced their input
on this budget."
The FY05 proposal includes a $609 million General Funds
increase over the FY04 elementary and secondary education
appropriation. The FY05 recommendation includes:
- A $250 per pupil increase of general state aid, which
equals $396.5 million.
- Restoring the School Safety and Educational Improvement
(ADA) Block Grant to its FY03 level of $66.9 million,
an increase of $24 million.
- An additional $139.1 million to fully fund the state
Mandated Categorical grants including special education
- A $13.3 million increase for the Bilingual program
to increase the pro-ration from 64% to approximately
- Restoration of $19 million for Gifted Education.
- $30 million for Early Childhood.
- $23.7 million for Bridges Extended Learning Opportunities
(formerly known as Summer Bridges).
- Additional increases include: $2.6 million for Reading,
$6.2 million for System of Support, $3 million for Career
and Technical Education, $4.5 million for Truant and
Alternative Learning Opportunities, and $11.6 million
for Regional Offices of Education.
The proposal includes $576.6 million alone to support
adequate basic education and full funding of programs
that the state requires districts provide.
In FY04 the State Board recommended and the Governor
agreed to begin to phase in the Education Funding Advisory
Board proposal over a four- or five-year period. The State
Board therefore recommends, for the second year in a row,
an FY05 increase of $250.00 to the foundation level.
"Our schools are struggling to make ends meet with
the current level of resources available to them, and
we recognize that," said Board Chair Janet Steiner.
"Transporting the student to the classroom, staffing
the classrooms, assisting the students who have special
needs, integrating general education and special education
students together, supporting our teachers, and communicating
to parents are all very real costs."
Moody's Investor Service recently indicated that the
Illinois school district sector remains challenged with
widespread structural imbalances, declining liquidity
and expenditure growth that is outpacing revenue growth.
The Education Trust recently found Illinois to have the
highest funding gap between the highest and lowest poverty
districts and on Wednesday, Illinois was the only state
rated "F" for funding equity by Education
The 2003 Condition of Education report documents
these trends - costs rising faster than revenues, an increasing
number of districts in deficits and remaining there for
longer periods of time, more and more reductions to extra-curricular
activities as well as basic classroom costs, and the inability
of schools to provide the services necessary to have all
students achieve standards.
The FY05 budget recommendation will begin to help schools
address these basic finance and equity issues.
Schiller added that more than 99.99% of the $7.6 billion
FY04 education appropriation goes directly to the state's
891 locally controlled school districts. After continued
reduction of personnel and operations, this proposal includes
no increased administrative costs at the Illinois State
Board of Education, he said.
The Illinois State Board of Education is required by
law to present the Governor and the General Assembly a
recommended budget proposal for Illinois public elementary
and secondary education system by January 14th.
Approved FY05 Budget