Dear Parents, Guardians, and Members of the District 146 Community,
As you may know, the impasse at the State of Illinois Capitol continues as legislators and the Governor were unable to reach agreement on a budget. In the coming days you will hear a great deal of speculation pertaining to whether schools will open in the fall.
Without a state appropriation for K-12 education in Fiscal Year 2017 (begins 7/1/16), many school districts will face dire circumstances. For District 146, state funding comprises nearly 9% of our revenue, or $3.4 million. The district has fund reserves that will allow the opening of school and should sustain the district for the time being. Of course, this would mean that the discord at the Capitol has resulted in an even greater shift of the cost of educating District 146’s students to local property taxpayers.
The top priority for our elected officials must be to enact a budget that includes adequate funds for public schools for the upcoming school year. This will ensure that schools across the state open on time and are adequately funded for the full year. An evidence-based funding model is the most sound and fair long-term answer to having an adequate and equitable school funding model in Illinois. It is founded on research-based practices. Senate Bill 231, which has been passed by the Illinois Senate, on the other hand, would take away nearly $1.9 million in State funds from District 146.
As taxpayers and as citizens who are concerned about the health and future of our state, now is the time to be engaged. Contact your elected officials to let them know your feelings about the current “state of our state” and funding for education.
- Governor Bruce Rauner at http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactus/Pages/default.aspx
- Senator Mike Hastings at http://senatorhastings.com/contact-me
- Senator Emil Jones III at http://senatoremiljones.com/contact-us
- Representative Al Riley at http://www.repalriley38.com/contact.php
- Representative Robert Rita at http://robertbobrita.com/contact-us/
Your School Board and I have been actively engaged with our elected officials to make sure they understand the impact state school funding reform has on our students and community. We will continue to monitor this situation closely. We will also continue to develop contingency plans to respond to the prospect of an ongoing budget impasse into the fall. We are committed to continuing the outstanding educational services that your child deserves and to serving our school community without interruption.
Thank you for your continued support of our schools and have an enjoyable and safe summer
Dr. Jeff Stawick