Gov. Rauner is visiting schools across the state—including stops in Lombard, Chicago, Peoria, Springfield and Belleville—to talk about his proposal to increase state K-12 general state-aid funding to record levels.
During his annual budget address, Rauner proposed fully funding general state aid to schools for the first time in seven years. The Governor wants to increase foundation formula funding by $55 million, in addition to increasing funding for early childhood education programs by $75 million.
Mandate relief for school districts is also part of the Governor’s plan to help Illinois schools, and legislation has already been introduced by Republican lawmakers that would allow districts to decide whether to release students from P.E. requirements and would ease current restrictions on using outside contractors.
The Governor noted that many of his proposals to help schools control costs simply extend the same freedom of choice to downstate and suburban schools that Chicago schools have benefitted from for years. Estimates show his mandate relief bill could save schools $200 million per year statewide.
Rauner also recently used an executive order to create the “Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth,” commonly referred to as the “Children’s Cabinet.” The newly formed entity will help streamline and reorganize state services to more effectively work with kids, while strengthening partnerships with non-profit and private organizations.
Rauner said that, “It will ensure Illinois children are getting the resources they need and deserve, while expediting true reforms that will transform our education system to ensure a bright future for our students.”