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Testimony before House Elementary & Secondary Education Appropriations Committee

EM Testifying ISBE

Emily Miller, Voices’ policy and advocacy director, testified today before the House Elementary & Secondary Education Appropriations Committee. Once again, a dominant theme was that the state cannot invest in early childhood and K-12 education if revenue is allowed to collapse halfway through the next school year.

Based on planned allocations to the House appropriations committees, the Elementary & Secondary Education Appropriations Committee will need to enact cuts of nearly $1 billion for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1. As the Fiscal Policy Center has previously detailed, such cuts would be devastating to school districts around the state.

The severity of the looming cuts is in stark contrast to what the Illinois State Board of Education has requested to educate Illinois children — an increase of $1.08 billion, including an $879 million increase to General State Aid, the state’s main funding source for our public schools. Adding this funding to General State Aid would provide sufficient funding for the state to meet the statutory foundation level of $6,119 per student, which is still far, far below what is considered necessary. Currently, the state doesn’t even appropriate enough money to meet the meager foundation level.

You can read Emily’s testimony below:

Download (PDF, 544KB)

 

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