Superintendents struggle while creating budget due to no funding formula

Superintendents struggle while creating budget due to no funding formula. (WRSP)

The state of Illinois has yet to pass a school funding formula.

If legislatures don’t pass a school funding formula by Aug. 10, school districts throughout Illinois won’t receive this fiscal year’s funding.

School officials do not know how much, if any, state funding they will receive this year. However, each school district is still required to create a budget plan.

In Sangamon County, school districts have until Sept. 30 to submit a budget plan to the county clerk.

However, they have to have one created by the end of August for the school board’s review.

“If there’s no revenue there for the state, you have to make an educated guess because the whole idea is to be accountable to the public and say what you think is going to be there,” explained Superintendent Darren Root with the Auburn School District.

Superintendent Root said it is difficult putting together a budget without knowing how much state funding he will receive.

He said he utilizes last year’s budget plan as a guideline for how much money he will need from the state.

“It’s hard to set those numbers when you have to look at last years and you just have to hope the people at the state capitol come through with financing,” said Superintendent Root.

The Auburn School District relies on state funding for 50 percent of its funding.

The district has $6 million left in its bank account.

However, it costs the district a million dollars each month to operate.

Superintendent Root said regardless of whether the school receives state funding, they will find other forms of funding in order to stay open.

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