The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education says the next two weeks represent a “critical period” for public schools. Two weeks is the amount of time lawmakers have to finish a state budget before they’re scheduled to leave the capitol for the summer. Chairman Gery Chico says while he isn’t sure cuts can be avoided, there’s still time to make a case against them.
“We have to reverse that trend to show the people of Illinois that we’re serious about the education of our children, and I’m hopeful that we can get there. I don’t know, but we’re going to fight like crazy until that bell rings ending the session to see if we can restore our money.”
Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal would reduce education funding by more than 300-million dollars. Since 2009, the state has trimmed school money by nearly one-billion dollars. More cuts will likely force additional teacher layoffs and other moves.