Governor Budget Summary
The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $101.8 million increase in General Revenue Funds for K-12 education compared to the FY 16 spending plan passed by the General Assembly. The Governor’s main focus is ending proration for General State Aid and increasing funding for Early Childhood Education to meet the maintenance of effort requirements for the federal Preschool Expansion grant. Line items that do not serve a statewide purpose are being eliminated under the Governor’s budget, accounting for $19.9 million that was moved to increase GSA and Early Childhood Education.
General State Aid
Overall, the Governor is proposing to increase GSA by $55 million in order to fully fund the formula at the current $6,119 Foundation Level. Due to stabilizing property values, dropping low-income counts and diminishing average daily attendance, the full claim amount for GSA has dropped from $5.03 billion in FY 16 to $4.77 billion for the upcoming FY 17. This makes the task of fully funding the formula a small lift compared to FY 16 when General State Aid was increased by $195 million and still was short of full funding by $312.3 million.
The Governor proposes eliminating the following lines because they do not impact districts statewide:
- Advance Placement
- After School Matters
- Agriculture Education
- Arts and Foreign Language
- Parent Mentoring Program
- District Intervention Funding
- National Board Certified Teachers
- Teach for America
He proposed eliminating these same lines in his budget proposal last year; however the General Assembly included these line items in the budget that the Governor ultimately signed for FY 16.
The Governor’s budget includes funding for assessments at the level passed by the General Assembly in FY 16. However, the proposed appropriation is $8.5 million short of the State Board of Education’s request for full implementation of PARCC and SAT.
The Governor is requesting a $75 million increase to Early Childhood Education funding. Illinois was recently awarded an $80 million Preschool Expansion Grant from the federal government that requires the state to contribute $50 million in additional funds to early childhood education each fiscal year for four years. In FY 16, Early Childhood was only increased by $25 million. The Governor is proposing the increase to stay on track with the federal requirements of $50 million increased funding each year for four years.