Illinios education officials want half the state's budget, Wirepoints warns
Illinois education officials are out to get half of the state's budget—and they just might—to the detriment of the state's taxpayers, according to an online Wirepoints newsletter issued earlier today.
"It may sound outlandish, but it's true: Illinois state education officials have asked for an 86 percent increase in operating spending for education next year," Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said in the email newsletter. "A $7 billion increase means Illinois's total education costs—at more than $19 billion—would swallow more than half the state's current budget."
Earlier this week, Wirepoints, an online economy, government and business publication, reported that the state's education officials are asking up front for at least $350 million per year, that was supposed to come to them annually over 10 years. That outlay had been approved as part of a 2017 education funding law to provide an adequate amount of evidence-based funding for entire state, according to the article written by Dabrowski and Wirepoints policy analyst John Klingner.
"Since then, education officials have dropped the pretense of wanting that money over time," the article said. "State Board President Tony Smith wants the $7 billion in new money right now. The State Board of Education’s latest funding request calls for an 86 percent increase in state operating spending on education."
That request would bring the state's education budget total to more than $19 billion or about 50 percent of the state's current budget.
"An additional $7 billion means Illinois spending would jump to more than $17,500 per student (using the 2016 national numbers for an apples-to-apples comparison)," Dabrowski warned in his newsletter. "In contrast, Indiana spent less than $10,000 per student in 2016."
Illinois's taxpayers will be the hardest hit if that education budgetary request goes through, according to the newsletter.
"That's a lot to ask for from Illinoisans who already pay the nation’s highest property taxes," the newsletter said.