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Alliance Legislative Report 97-03

Distributed via Email: February 16, 2011


Governor Pat Quinn Wednesday unveiled his budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2012 in the annual Budget Address before a joint session of the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. In an overall state budget that the Governor says will cut about a billion dollars below FY 2011 levels, Governor Quinn generally spared overall education spending but outlined new spending priorities for elementary and secondary education.

For school districts, the regular transportation reimbursement line item would take another hit, this time to the tune of $95 million below the FY ’11 funding level. The Governor cut the transportation line item in FY ’11 as well, so if this additional cut goes through school districts will likely receive transportation reimbursement claims paid at less than 50 cents on the dollar.

Governor Quinn also calls for the elimination of all state funding for Regional Offices of Education (ROE). By cutting out all state budget line items for regional superintendent services and salaries, the State will save $13 million.

The Governor also called for consolidation – possibly forced consolidation – of school districts. He plans to establish a commission to look into the issue.


The Governor calls education his “Outcome #1” and wants to provide for “a quality education and opportunities for growth”. To this end, he proposes to invest in early childhood, support programs that assure well-trained, highly qualified teachers and principals, expand Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants for community college students, and “focus funding on classrooms, not administration”.

In the budget line items, then, Governor Quinn proposes increased funding for:

  • Early Childhood Education ($38 million increase)
  • Standards, Materials, and Training for Teachers (a new line item of $2.9 million)
  • Principal Mentoring increases from $830,000 to $2.2 million
  • Teacher and Administrator Mentoring Program ($1.2 million increase)


The Alliance has consistently, especially in tight fiscal times, urged the Governor and legislature to prioritize the school funding formula and the mandated categorical grant programs. This year, the Governor’s recommendation is to increase the per pupil foundation level – but cut the reimbursement for student transportation.

  • The foundation level would be increased by $148 per pupil (from $6119 to $6267)
  • Mandated categorical grants for special education would be fully funded
  • Regular transportation would be decreased by $95 million, cutting the reimbursement rate to just under 50%


  • The Free/Reduced Lunch Program would see an increase of $6.5 million
  • Bilingual Education would see an increase of $3.5 million
  • Standards, Assessments, and Accountability would see an increase from $1 million to $6 million
  • Technology for Success would see an increase of from $3.3 million to $7.7 million


The Governor’s Budget Address is the first step in the long, arduous budget process in Illinois. The General Assembly will begin studying the Governor’s recommendations, hold budget hearings, and ultimately approve a state spending plan for FY ’12. Alliance members are encouraged to contact their legislators and express their thoughts about the upcoming budget. Please let one of your Alliance lobbyists know what you are hearing from your legislators regarding the Governor’s budget proposal.

Not only does the legislature have the final say on the budget/appropriations bills, it also would have to approve specific legislation to enact the Governor’s proposals in other areas. For instance, for Regional Superintendents of Schools, their salaries and method of payment are contained in the School Code. Likewise, legislation would have to be approved that would mandate consolidation of schools.

As always, the progress on the FY ’12 budget will be monitored closed by the Alliance Legislative Report.

This legislative report is written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly

Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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