Dear Parents and Guardians,
As you know, the impasse at the Capitol continues as legislatures and the Governor have been unable to reach agreement on a budget. In the coming days, you will hear a great deal of speculation pertaining to whether schools will open in the fall.
Without a state appropriation for K-12 education in Fiscal Year 2017, many school districts will face dreadful circumstances. The district has fund reserves coupled with local property tax that will allow the opening of school and should sustain the district throughout the school year. Of course this would mean that the dysfunction at the Capitol has resulted in a shift of the cost of educating Illinois’ children to local property taxpayers. If forced to fund our district solely through these reserves and our local property taxes, it would nearly cut our reserves in half. These reserves would be extremely hard to regain and take much time to rebuild this safety net, which our fiscally responsible district has built over the years.
The top priority of our elected officials must be to enact a budget that includes adequate funds for public schools for the upcoming school year. This will ensure that schools across the state open on time and are adequately funded for the full year. An evidence-based funding model seems to be the most sound and fair long-term answer to having an adequate and equitable school funding model in Illinois. It is founded on research-based practices. With a variance of Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) across the state and even among local communities, we hope to find a funding formula that will help balance the scales in school funding.
The toxic climate at the Capitol often leads one to avoid getting involved. Yet, as taxpayers and as citizens who are concerned about the health and future of our state, now is the time to be engaged. Contact your elected officials (Sen. Tim Bivins at firstname.lastname@example.org and Rep. Brian Stewart at email@example.com) to let them know your feelings about the current “state of the state.” Meanwhile, be assured that your Board of Education and I will continue to monitor this situation closely. We will also continue to develop contingency plans to respond to the prospect of an ongoing budget impasse into the fall. We are committed to serving our school community without interruption.
Thank you for your continued support of our schools.
Superintendent & Elementary Principal, Warren CUSD 205