District 302 joins the “Pass Illinois Budget Initiative”

By: Annika Berger, Editor

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School District 302 has joined an effort called the “Pass Illinois Budget Initiative,” whose purpose is to encourage legislators to get a budget through state congress. These problems occurring in Springfield have made their way across the state and many public schools are having funding crises due to the lack of a state budget.

The initiative now includes over 400 school districts, representing about 65 percent of public school students in Illinois. Other schools in the area that are participating include Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, and Geneva.

The state of Illinois currently owes the Kaneland School District more than 3 million dollars. Associate Superintendent, Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, believes the state needs to fulfill its obligation to provide money for education.

“The state owes us that money [3 million] for this year. Right now, we are still able to pay our payroll and our bills, however we want to make sure that the state fulfills its obligation and pays us as soon as possible. To do that, I believe they need to work together and pass a budget,” Fuchs said.

As the state struggled with its inability to pass a budget, it still found a way to get money to the schools in Illinois. By appropriating, or setting aside, funding for K-12 education, schools were still able to remain functioning.

“We’re very fortunate at Kaneland because we primarily rely on the local property taxes for our revenue. We can get through most years, most of the year. But we do get about 12 to 15 percent of our budget from the state, and if they stop paying that, at some point we either won’t have enough money, or will have to make some significant reductions,” Fuchs said.

Kaneland may be in the clear for now, but the longer it takes the state to pass a budget, the risk of the school district running out of money increases. According to Fuchs, the best way to end this before it becomes a more serious problem is for representatives in Springfield to start working together.

“I do believe that our legislators want to do what’s right, especially for children, however I’m not sure what’s stopping them from doing so,” Fuchs said.

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District 302 joins the “Pass Illinois Budget Initiative”