SPRINGFIELD – State education leaders once again urge local community members to weigh in on what education needs should be a priority as they prepare the Fiscal Year 2015 K-12 education budget. The Illinois State Board of Education is also encouraging citizens to share their opinions and ideas regarding the state’s current funding formula as the Board works with a Senate committee tasked with evaluating the formula and education funding.
ISBE’s Finance and Audit Committee will host the first of five public hearings immediately following the Oct. 23 Board meeting at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale. The Board will submit its FY 2015 education budget recommendation by January to the Governor and General Assembly.
“One of the Board’s crucial roles is to be a strong advocate for sufficient funding for K-12 education and ensure each and every student in the state is prepared for the rigors of college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “At a time of renewed interest in examining how schools are funded in Illinois, the Board believes that significant changes are needed to improve the quality of education for the state’s two million public school students.”
In addition to developing the FY 2015 state education budget, the Board is assisting the Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee as it works to study the current method of distributing state funding to school districts. The Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, aims to propose a state education funding system that provides adequate, equitable, transparent and accountable distribution of funds to school districts that will prepare students for achievement and success after high school. Testimony from the FY 2015 budget hearings regarding the funding formula will be shared with the Senate committee as it works to recommend a more equitable method of distributing available resources to schools. The committee is charged with having a proposal ready for the full General Assembly by next February.
Those who are unable to attend one of the five public hearings are encouraged to email any guidance or feedback to ISBE at: ISBEFY15@isbe.net. The public budget hearings for Fiscal Year 2015 will be conducted at the follow dates and locations:
- Wednesday, Oct. 23 – Immediately following board meeting (4 to 6 p.m.) – Carbondale – Carbondale Community High School Library, 1301 E. Walnut St., Carbondale, IL 62901
- Tuesday, Nov. 12 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Champaign – Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820
- Thursday, Nov. 14 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Grayslake – College of Lake County, Auditorium, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030
- Wednesday, Nov. 20 – 4 to 6 p.m. – Macomb – Macomb High School Library, 1525 S. Johnson St., Macomb, IL 61455
- Friday, Nov. 22 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Chicago – Thompson Center, Conference Room 16-503, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601
The State Board’s Finance and Audit Committee conducts public hearings each year to gather opinions about local district’s education needs and priorities as they prepare the following year’s education budget. The Board generally recommends an education budget in January, several months prior to any General Assembly action on the next fiscal year’s budget. The Board can only make a recommendation. The Governor and legislators must determine how to generate revenue and set the final budget.