On behalf of the school board members and administrators who serve throughout the state, we would like to express our sincere thanks to (Illinois State) Rep. John Cavaletto for his support of the appropriations bill and the accompanying revenue package recently approved by the Illinois House of Representatives. The provisions contained in SB 6 and SB 9 will allow school districts across the State of Illinois to open on time this fall and remain operational for the 2017-2018 school year.
The members of our organizations are proud to stand behind those legislators who stepped up and made the politically tough vote to save not only public education, but also higher education, social services and the other services necessary for our state to survive. The greatest investment that we can make for our state's future is in the education of the students who will become tomorrow's leaders. We are grateful that leaders like Representative Cavaletto took the bold step to support legislation necessary to end the long-standing budget stalemate and fund the future of our state.
While there has been an appropriation for elementary and secondary education funding for the past two years, there was not enough state revenue to fund the budget that was passed for schools. This lack of funding resulted in the State of Illinois owing local schools more than $1 billion. Without a budget for the new school year - and without enough state revenue to pay for that budget - some schools would not have been able to open and others would have been able to stay open for only a while.
When social services agencies, vendors, and local community groups are not funded, the impact is felt throughout communities and, ultimately, in our classrooms. Passage of a comprehensive, balanced state budget is a necessary step in restoring the stability of our local public schools and of our state. Support of this budget legislation shows the strong commitment to our local schools and to our students.
Thank you, Rep Cavaletto, for having the courage to be a champion for our school children.
Roger Eddy, Executive Director
Illinois Association of School Boards
Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director
Illinois Association of School Administrators