Illinois officials warn schools of state funding cuts

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois education officials are warning school administrators to prepare for even less state funding for the next fiscal year.

The Illinois State Board of Education is telling school districts to prepare to receive about 85 percent of the normal general state aid payments for the fiscal year that begins in July, according to a report by the Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers. This year, qualifying districts are getting 89 percent of the money.

“As you put together your projections, please be very conservative,” said ISBE spokesman Matt Vanover.

State law requires education officials to spend at least $6,119 a student. While local districts contribute money for the base amount, the state makes up the rest, especially for poorer school districts with limited property tax revenue to boost their budgets.

Projections show that school districts in the state could qualify for as much as $200 million more in the general aid money, which prompted the ISBE to issue the warning about further cuts.