Lincoln-Way area schools may soon have to work with even tighter funding as Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to advocate cutting 3 percent of the education budget to alleviate pension costs, the Chicago Tribune reports.
That equates to a $278 million reduction in funds for high schools and elementary schools, and it will be the third dramatic budget blow from the state to local schools in three years.
"When you have that tremendous amount of money that you have to put in the pension (system), something's got to give," Quinn told the Tribune.
Homewood Rep. Will Davis said lawmakers need to figure out an alternative to education cuts, during a House debate last week.
As expected, local schools are not happy about the news.
"You've got good programs, and you want to keep up with them. It's discouraging," said Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Supt. Lawrence Wyllie.
For LWHS D210, the reduction means about $700,000 less. "We try to go in and reduce expenses. We're just looking at any way that we can in order to reduce expenditures," he said. Already Lincoln-Way is just about the lowest in per pupil expenditures in the collar counties.
Wyllie added that the debate is not yet over in Springfield. "We have a few months" before a final version of the budget is approved.
The state is currently paying $6 billion a year in pensions.
Ann Piasecki, local editor for New Lenox, Mokena and Frankfort Patch sites, contributed to this article.
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