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Cuts continue for Illinois schools

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 19th, 2013

MENDOTA – As schools keep looking for ways to get by with less and less state funding, cuts in the education budget keep coming. Superintendent Jeff Prusator said Governor Pat Quinn’s recently proposed budget takes another swipe at general state aid for schools and nearly decimates funding for transportation.

For the current year, Prusator said state aid was prorated at 89 percent of what schools were supposed to receive. “The new budget has it prorated at 82 percent,” Prusator told board members at their March 18 regular meeting. “In transportation, his [governor’s] budget…is 20 percent of what we’re supposed to receive. That makes it very, very difficult to get students to and from school.”

Another proposed change in transportation would increase the distance for students who are eligible to ride the bus from 1-1/2 miles away from school to 2 miles. Although all MHS students are eligible to ride the bus because the high school is located on a highway, Prusator said this change could impact Mendota Elementary students.

Changes are also forging ahead in pension reform. Prusator said one item regarding retirement age has already passed overwhelmingly in the House. “If you’re over 45 years old, you can retire at 55 just like before,” he told the board. “If you’re between 40 and 45, you have to work one additional year. If you’re between 35 and 39, you have to work three additional years. Anybody under 35 has to work five additional years.”

The law would still need to be passed by the Senate and signed by the governor before going into effect.

For the complete article see the 03-20-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-20-2013 paper.

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