WIUM Tristates Public Radio

School Districts Prepare for Possibility of More Cuts

Jan 30, 2012

Illinois public school districts are preparing next year's budgets. It's a difficult undertaking with state aid still up in the air.

The legislative session will begin several weeks later than usual. It's not known when the governor and the lawmakers might agree on education funding.

General State Aid to school districts was cut 5% for the current fiscal year.

West Prairie Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said the cuts for next year could be worse.

He said, ”What I hear, and I don't know if this is going to be the case, is that they are planning to pro-rate it at 90% for next year, which would really be a significant cut-back in state funds to local school districts.”

He said the budget uncertainty keeps districts from making long-term commitments to improving their academic programs or facilities.

Heerboth said, “This is a time when we really want to be moving forward with our academic programs, in a variety of areas, and it's going to take continuing levels of funding to support that.”

He said many districts are running out of areas they can cut without harming education.