SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) voted with an overwhelming majority of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle to fund Illinois schools for the full upcoming school year while keeping critical state services functioning through January.
“The school funding plan will make sure no schools receive less money than last year and will actually increase funding for a large number of struggling downstate schools,” said Sen. McCann. “The stopgap budget is certainly not ideal, but it is a major step in the right direction.”
The compromise school funding measure will provide 100% of the foundation formula for the first time in seven years while an additional hold harmless provision will make sure no school receives less money than they did in the previous year. The plan also includes a new $250 million equity grant to help the state’s most struggling schools, and $75 million for early childhood education.
The stopgap budget proposal will help pay for core General Revenue Fund based state services through the end of the current year. It also contains full-year appropriations for all federal funds as well as full-year appropriations for all other state funds including capital projects, the state’s road program, LIHEAP, lottery prizes and local government distributions such as the motor fuel tax.
The total for transportation programs and construction is over $13 billion and is expected to support more than 800 projects and 25,000 jobs.
“I have been fighting to make sure we are able to keep these important infrastructure projects moving forward,” said Sen. McCann. “Our roads and bridges are arteries of commerce in Illinois and provide good-paying jobs. Stopping work now could have hurt our state for years to come.”
The budget plan also includes $701 million for human service programs, as well as $1 billion for higher education, on top of the previously appropriated $600 million, including $141 million for community colleges and $151 million for MAP grants for low income students.
“Overall this is a win for our state during a very dark time,” said Sen. McCann. “My hope is that this is just the first step toward a comprehensive, full-year budget solution that matches revenues and expenditures, and properly funds education, road projects, and critical state services.”