30 Mar District 212 Prepares for Proposed Cuts from 2010-11 Budget

March 30, 2010

Source: Pioneerlocal.com

Leyden High School District 212, like other districts throughout Illinois, faces funding cuts proposed in Gov. Pat Quinn’s fiscal 2011 budget.

"Next year, the governor’s proposed cuts could reduce our general state aid by $250,000 or more," Thomas Janeteas, Leyden’s chief financial officer and school board treasurer said.

Quinn’s proposed budget slashes more than $2 billion in spending, along with $1.3 billion in education funding from general state aid, special education, student transportation and grants at the K-12 grade levels.

Mary Fergus, spokeswoman for the Illinois State Board of Education said, "The impact of a $1.3 billion cut would be widespread."

Quinn proposed a 1 percent income tax surcharge as a way to restore the education budget to its current level.

In addition to dealing with the proposed cuts, state payments to the school districts were also delayed.

"These are the mandated categorical payments, mostly special education related reimbursement payments that are delayed," Janeteas said. "In the beginning of January, the state was behind in just under $1 million to us, as of today it is just over $650,000."

Leyden’s general state aid for this year should be $1.78 million.

"We should receive all of that this year and those payments have not been delayed to date," Janeteas said.

The proposed cuts in education funding are the latest in a series of financial adversities school districts have faced over the past year, including a virtually flat property tax cap and delayed property tax receipts in Cook County.

The state has to somehow make up for $1 bi llion in federal stimulus money that has been used to make school aid payments for the past two years.

Leyden, for instance, would lose $1.6 million in school aid under one proposal to eliminate the "flat" grants that go to better-off school districts that do not qualify for aid under the state formula for divvying up dollars.

Janeteas said previously the district has always tried to have something aside in reserves for a rainy day but added you can hold out for only so long.

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