Even though Governor Pat Quinn characterizes his budget plan as heavy on education funding, schools would not see a significant uptick this year. Here's Quinn, during his budget address, talking about his big plans for investing in schools:
"We believe in education. And with these historic reforms in place, now is the time to increase our investment in education to its highest point ever. Over the next five years, we will increase our investments in the classroom by over $6 billion."
But that's over time. The Illinois State Board of Education had requested an extra billion dollars for the next school year. Instead, the governor's plan gives schools about a quarter of that. That reverses a trend of the past couple years, when schools saw cuts in state funding. Governor Quinn says that bump is possible because of his plan to make permanent Illinois' temporary income tax hike; otherwise he says schools would see grave cuts. While education advocacy groups broadly applaud the focus on school funding, critics say it's still inadequate.
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