State School Financing

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Late Thursday night, Bond County Unit 2 Superintendent Wes Olson sent an e-mail to local residents about the need for a state budget to be passed before midnight Friday, June 30. (The text of the email follows this story)

The new fiscal year goes into effect on July 1.

Olson said the lack of an education budget will have a devastating effect on Unit 2 since the district is currently in serious financial difficulty due to the state failing to make all of its payments. He added that Unit 2 cannot fully function and provide an acceptable level of services without state aid.

Olson is asking citizens to contact elected officials and urge them to pass a budget that provides adequate funds for public schools.

Superintendent Olson plans to be in Springfield Friday to talk with legislators about the situation.

To: All BCCU2 families, employees and community members.

As you may have heard, the General Assembly and Governor of Illinois have failed to reach agreement on a state budget. Many school districts have discussed “doomsday” scenarios in which they may not be able to open in the fall, should the state not pass a FY18 spending budget. The lack of an education budget will have a devastating effect on our district here in Bond County. Our district is in serious financial difficulty. Nearly 50% of our budget comes from state and federal funding, both of which would be unavailable without an FY18 state budget.

Our mission of providing a high quality education for all students has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Financially, our district has been crippled by the effects of state aid “pro-rotation”. Since proration started in 2012, BCCU2 has lost a total of over $4 million dollars in state aid and mandated “categorical” payments

As a district, we have become masters of “doing more with less” and have taken steps to considerably curtail spending and become more efficient. The success of our schools and students is a direct result of the outstanding people in our district. They will continue to provide the best learning opportunities for our students, despite the dysfunction in Springfield.

Our district plans to continue to provide a high quality education experience when our doors open on August 17th, 2017. Without a state FY 18 budget, we forecast our district will be able to continue to provide educational services until December of 2017. At that point, our cash reserves and borrowed revenue will be exhausted, forcing the district to look at other options which may include taking on more debt and elimination of programs. Increasing the burden on our local tax payers and eliminating opportunities for children is not what our district wants for our community. Without a state FY18 budget, we are left with few options. The consequences of not having state aid for our district are great and far reaching, impacting thousands of families in Bond County. The fact is, we cannot fully function and provide an acceptable level of services without state aid.

I encourage you to reach out to our elected officials and urge them to pass a budget that provides adequate and equitable funds for public schools. The BCCU2 Board of Education and I will continue to monitor the situation. We will develop more concrete plans should the ongoing budget impasse continue into the fall. Our district is committed to opening on time and providing high quality educational opportunities for the children of Bond County.

Thanks for your continued support of our schools.

Sincerely

Wes Olson Ed.D
BCCU2 Superintendent of Schools

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