Statehouse Bureau
4:44 am
Thu April 17, 2014

How Much Would Your School District Lose?

Credit flickr/LizMarie_AK

  New data suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.

Illinois' budget could play out a lot of different ways. But under one scenario -- the one Gov. Pat Quinn says will be the case if tax rates aren't kept at five percent -- kindergarten through high school classrooms across Illinois will get $450 million dollars less from the state.

Jessica Handy, with the Stand for Children advocacy group, says schools are already doing more with less.

"And it becomes very difficult for them to ultimately close achievement gaps and prepare our students for success in the real world," she says.

Figures from the State Board of Education show the Milford Township High School District, in eastern Illinois, near the Indiana border, taking the biggest per pupil loss -- of about $1600. Elsewhere, schools may get about $500 less for each student, or $100.

And there are dozens of schools that would see gains; a board spokesman says that's because of a complex formula.

But in general, schools from the poorest areas would be hardest hit.

Handy says while her group is against any cut to education funding, if it does come to that, the state should do it in a way that protects the neediest districts.