Posted By John Myers On Thursday, February 25, 2010
In an unusual effort to solicit public input on the budget, Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday proposed $2 billion in cuts to education along with grim revenue estimates for a state awash in $13 billion of red ink.
Notably missing from revenues are some $3 billion in federal stimulus funds sent to schools since 2009, a loss that is part of what national observers call a “stimulus funding cliff” that threatens school districts across the country. In Chicago, where Quinn’s cuts would mean perhaps a $200 million shortfall, it’s unclear how well officials have prepared.
Officials hoped the one-time infusion of federal cash would be spent on efforts that would spark lasting reforms that wouldn’t require ongoing funding. Catalyst Ohio highlighted a few examples in its latest report, including a plan in Cleveland to buyout older, higher-paid teachers and the creation of a school improvement planning team in Columbus.
Here in Chicago, details on stimulus spending are somewhat murky. Yet, district officials are able to point out only a few examples of spending that will propel reforms.