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Knoxville CUSD #202 Joins "Pass Illinois Budget" Campaign

April 20, 2017

Knoxville CUSD #202 is joining the "Pass Illinois Budget" campaign organized by Elgin School District CEO, Tony Sanders. Elgin is the largest school district in Illinois, with the exception of Chicago Public Schools.

This time last year, budget talks were ongoing but unproductive. As the end of the school year, and fiscal year, neared there was growing concern that a budget would not be in place which would have jeopardized school districts ability to remain open during the 2016-2017 school year...or open at all. Knoxville joined other local school districts in May, 2016 and hosted a joint meeting of local school boards to highlight their current financial situation and the impact of not having a budget for 2016-2017.

Despite those efforts, and others across the State of Illinois, a K-12 budget wasn't passed until June 30, 2016. June 30 is the last day of the fiscal year for public schools. That limited our ability to plan effectively for the 2016-2017 school year, and caused schools to spend additional time planning for different financial scenarios that is usually spent completing the busy end to a school year.

This year has become worse than last year:

  • Unlike last year, there has been nearly no talk of a budget for 2017-2018. It's as if the budget impasse that dominated headlines last year has become accepted as a way that Illinois does business.
  • Knoxville is still waiting for $260,670 in payments for Special Education and Transportation that has been disbursed by the Illinois State Board of Education, but which has NOT been released by the Illinois Comptroller's Office as today, April 20. While it has become routine for these payments to arrive late, they are currently not arriving at all.
  • Speculation is mounting that the political standoff between House Speaker Michael Madigan and Governor Bruce Rauner will result in no budget, nor any temporary spending plan for K-12 education or any other entity, until 2019.

Mr. Sanders' efforts to revive attention to Illinois' budget crisis is appreciated, and has already rallied support from over 100 school districts that represent approximately 425,000 from across Illinois, not just the Chicago Suburbs. The lack of a budget is an issue for all K-12 public schools, higher education, and other state agencies that depend on state-funding.

Please join us and consider contacting our local representatives, Representative Dan Swanson and Senator Chuck Weaver, and encouraging them to work with their colleagues to jumpstart the budget process and pass a budget for Illinois.

If you would like more information about the "Pass Illinois Budget" campaign, or more information about our financial position, please contact Superintendent Steve Wilder at the District Office at 289-2328, or by email at swilder@bluebullets.org.

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