State budget disagreements make it hard for local schools to pla - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

State budget disagreements make it hard for local schools to plan


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the state Board of Education have released their proposals for next years budget and the documents are not on the same page.

Governor Quinn wants more cuts, but the state board wants schools to be fully-funded.

And QPS interim superintendent Joel Murphy says it affects us right here in Quincy.

"We don't know what it's going to be," said Murphy. "We don't know what our transportation aid is going to be. We don't know if they're going to fully fund early childhood. So there's just a lot of the unknowns. And the unfortunate part that happens in Springfield is a lot of this stuff doesn't get resolved until the last minute."

Because of all that last-minute deal-making, Murphy says it leaves QPS administrators scrambling to prepare their budgets last-minute.

Governor Quinn and the state board may be no closer to a deal than the federal government is to ending the sequester.

Illinois Representative Jil Tracy says lawmakers are going to have to come together for the kids.

"To give our kids in these rural districts and anywhere in the state of Illinois. We've got to get that funded and paid and make it a state priority," said Tracy.

Tracy says there are teachers out there who can innovate and make things work and she says they're doing a good job of that with the little funding they have now.

But she says she hopes lawmakers can come together so it doesn't make it too hard on the schools.

Murphy says the hardest hit of all school programs might be transportation.

"We'll have to look to see what we can trim," said Murphy. "But it's one of those areas that we're mandated to provide."

Murphy says QPS has a little over $2 million in this years' transportation budget but he says it might be turned back down to nineteen percent of that.

Murphy says administrators will have to come up with some sort of funding bridge with working cash to get them through the year.

Murphy says the school gets a quarter of it's funding from the state. The majority of it's funding comes from property taxes.

But he says without the certainty in state funding, administrators struggle when they try to come up with a solid budget.

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