The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

IW Sees State Cut From Illinois Financial Crises

During the Illini West HSD #307 Board Meeting March 10 members heard of the state's continued financial crises that is affecting the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) having fewer dollars to disburse around the state to school districts.

The Illini West Board of Education has discussed budget reductions and possible impact for several months.

The administration alerted the Board of Education of the financial crisis in Illinois last fall. Currently the Federal government is supplying the Illinois State Board of Education with $922 million.

These funds will not be available in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That gap comes in the ISBE budget line requiring ISBE to absorb that reduction next year.

The State of Illinois is in serious financial condition with a $13 billion state deficit. The politics of the situation will have a direct impact on the people of Illinois and the children of Illinois.

Besides education, the other major state expenses are healthcare and other human services, which are protected by federal rules and regulations. Reductions in those programs would cause the state to lose significant federal dollars. No solution to this financial dilemma is in sight, especially in light of this being an election year.

In Governor Quinn's budget address on March 10th, K-12 education did not do well. The Governor proposed an approximate $1.1 billion reduction in the education budget, which is about an 11% reduction from the previous year.

Gov. Quinn also proposed a 1% increase in income tax as a surcharge going directly toward education.

This revenue is anticipated to be approximately $1.1 billion, the same amount as the proposed reductions.

The Governor indicated that without passage of the income tax increase, the education budget would be cut by 17%.

Therefore, unless legislative action is taken, further reductions for education are possible.

In examining Governor Quinn's proposal, Illini West would lose approximately $330,000 in revenue, not including special education reductions.

While the legislature has the final say, at this point the district must proceed with the scenario we currently have.

In light of this, the district has approved a resolution honorably discharging three high school para-professionals, as well as resolutions of non-renewal for one part-time teacher and one non-tenured teacher.

A resolution of non-renewal of a contract with Carthage Elementary for Art teacher services was also approved.

Reductions to be reflected in next year's budget include $159,171 in non-personnel matters, $3,500 through reduction of summer custodial help, $152,729 through personnel reduction and increased revenue of $7,500 with a $25 student participation fee. This will result in a total savings of $322,900.

In other business two Students of the Month for February were honored: Kelly Johnson and Carl Hartweg.

Don Winters was employed as an Assistant Boys Track Coach for the 2010 season, and the resignation of Assistant Boys Basketball Coach Tim Lafferty was accepted with regret.

Also, the Board of Education will be sending out requests for proposals for both banking and insurance services.