Your chance to tell BOE what programs take priority

By Alex Davis |

Published 10/08 2013 05:37PM

Updated 10/08 2013 05:41PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Parents and educators will soon have a chance to let the State Board of Education know which programs they feel should be a top priority. The agency will hold a series of hearings throughout the state. Those sessions will guide the 2015 education budget. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Board members generally recommend an education budget in January, but it's up to the governor and legislators to approve the final budget. This year, folks just seem to be concerned about funding.

Crystal Bauer's daughter may only be in 1st grade, but she's already thinking about her future education.

"Well, I think every parent wants that, for kids to have a good foundation, a good education."

The State Board says education was underfunded by 11% last year.

"There's the piece where the State Board collects information, develops a budget. But that budget has to be adopted and funded by the General Assembly, and it didn't happen last year."

Now parents and educators can weigh in on what should be top priorities as the ISBE begins to prepare the 2015 budget.

"Education needs to be a very high priority. I don't think people can go anywhere without any type of education."

The Illinois Association of School Administrators' Michael Chamness says getting adequate state funding is always one of the biggest concerns.

"It has a huge impact and directly affects the number of teachers the district can employ and that directly affects the number of students in the classroom."

Chamness says the hearings will serve as a platform for educators to explain how funding, or the lack thereof, effects them.

"Our superintendents, I think, can paint a really vivid picture of what's going on out there with each district, school by school and the direct impact these education cuts are having on students."

The ISBE is holding a series of public meetings. The meeting in Champaign is Tuesday, November 12, at the public library on Green Street, from 4 - 6 pm.

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