Additional education funding slow to come under Governor Quinn's budget plan

Mar 31, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn is selling his budget plan, with its extension of Illinois' income tax increase, as a way to better fund schools. But as IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports, that doesn't come right away.

During his budget address, Gov. Quinn introduced big plans for education: modernizing classrooms, a "birth to five" early learning initiative, and more money for elementary and high schools.

"Over the next five years, my  plan calls for the biggest education investment in state history. Every child should have an excellent school," says Quinn.

Notice-- he said "over the next five years." Schools' bump this year will be relatively slight under his plan, with an additional 2.5 percent going to the state board of education. That's about three-quarters less than the board's request for an extra billion dollars.

Illinois' education funding has decreased in recent years, and the governor says without the tax hike, it will get worse, leading to thousands of teacher layoffs.  He also says those state cuts would lead to higher local property taxes. 

But Republicans, including his GOP opponent in the general election, Bruce Rauner, say that's an exaggeration. Rauner knocks Quinn for cutting state funding of schools in recent years, when the higher income tax rate has been in place.