SPRINGFIELD — Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 3763 today making appropriations for General State Aid, Early Childhood Education, Bi-lingual Education and the Teachers’ Retirement System.
While the legislature’s bill does not increase education spending by as much as the governor’s proposal, it does increase K-12 education spending by $244 million and early childhood education funding by $25 million.
Rauner commented that education is the most important thing we do as a community, adding that he would have done more for our schoolchildren, but he took action today to ensure teachers are paid and schools are open and funded.
As part of his budget plan, the governor proposed increasing K-12 education by $312 million and early childhood by $32 million.
The Illinois Association of School Administrators said it was relieved that school districts can now plan for the new school year knowing that the state budget for education is in place.
While we believe General State Aid should be fully funded for schools, going from 89 percent funding to 92 percent in this budget represents some progress.
The downturn in the economy and the cuts to state funding the past few years have left many school districts across the state struggling, so we are encouraged that this budget includes $85 million that is supposed to go to the neediest districts as well as increases for Special Education and Early Childhood Education.
Educating our children is the single best long-term investment the state can make and we are pleased that the governor and the General Assembly have made it a priority in the middle of these tough budget negotiations