www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Travel & Recreation
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: State/All Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2003

Blagojevich boosts funding for Chicago public schools
New budget to add $42.7 million for local schools

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today visited Little Village Academy in Chicago to outline his funding plan to aid struggling schools in the City and throughout the state.

On Wednesday in Springfield the governor delivered his first budget address to a joint session of the Illinois House of Representatives and State Senate. His new spending plan for the state provides $209 million in additional funding for education while reducing overall spending by $345 million and closing the $5 billion deficit.

“This year’s unprecedented financial crisis gave us an opportunity to look more closely than ever at how the state has been spending taxpayers’ money,” Blagojevich said. “We found places to cut and consolidate so we could balance the budget, pay our unpaid bills and still fulfill our commitment to help our schools.”

The governor proposed increasing the state’s education funding foundation level by $250 to $4,810 per student. Chicago Public Schools will see a $42.7 million increase in general state aid.

“With the budget he announced yesterday, Gov. Blagojevich proved that he will not allow a slow economy or historic deficit to stop the state from fulfilling one of its most basic and important duties – educating our youth,” said Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

Frederic Arana, principal of Little Village Academy, was encouraged by the governor’s decision to increase spending on bilingual education by $2.6 million. Ninety-nine percent of the school’s students are Hispanic, and 97% are low-income.

“Our students come from hard-working, but low wage-earning families. Many speak Spanish as the primary language at home. The governor’s new education plan will help us provide the language skills and learning tools that will enable our students to build on their parents’ legacy of hard work to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Arana.

The new budget also includes a major funding increase for early childhood education. The nearly $30 million increase will enable more than 8,200 at-risk children to attend preschool. Over the next three years, Blagojevich plans to expand access to preschool to all 25,000 at-risk three and four-year olds in the state.

“We know that kids who have the benefit of attending preschool are much more likely to succeed in school later,” the governor said. “We should make sure every Illinois child has a chance to get an early start.”

In addition to the funding increases, the governor is giving schools more flexibility in setting priorities and deciding how to spend state funds. He is consolidating 24 programs under the Illinois State Board of Education, together worth $210 million, and dropping strict limitations on how the funds can be used so that schools can direct resources to areas with the most need.

The governor also proposed a reduction in the number of funds – from nine to four – that individual schools are required maintain. The move will give schools more flexibility in managing their resources.

The governor’s budget continues to fully fund the School Construction Grant Program, which provides $500 million a year to help schools pay to update older buildings and build expansions to accommodate growing student populations.

“In a year with the greatest challenges we’ve faced in several decades, we are moving our schools forward. We are making good on our promise to give our kids a chance at a bright future. And we are restoring fiscal discipline to our state government so we can continue to make strides for years to come,” said Blagojevich.




Video Archived Governor's News Conference Archived Governor's News Conference Video 56kArchived Governor's News Conference Video 135kArchived 
  Governor's News Conference Video 300k
Audio Archived Governor's News Conference Archived Governor's News Conference

###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us