Shift in state funding would cost Homer 33C $237,000

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

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For Immediate Release:

Feb. 8, 2016

 

Shift in state funding would cost Homer 33C $237,000

 

A proposal to redirect state funding from children requiring special education services to lower poverty schools would have a detrimental effect on Homer School District 33C.

 

Administrators estimate Homer 33C would lose $237,000 in state funding if the General Assembly approves the proposal put forth by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

 

“This proposal to cut special education funds represents yet another hit from the State of Illinois,” said Superintendent Kara Coglianese. “Our demands for services are on the rise in Homer 33C, but the state continues to chip away at our limited resources, jeopardizing our ability to meet the needs of every child.”

 

According to state data, the percentage of students requiring special education services is on the rise in Homer 33C. Two years ago, 15 percent of the district’s student population was identified as having disabilities. This year, it’s 16 percent — 2 percent higher than the state average.

 

Under ISBE’s proposed budget, the state would take $305 million from an account designated for special education services and give it to lower poverty schools for their general expenses.

 

The goal is to create equity between school districts. Problem is, school districts like Homer 33C would still have to provide special education services (which cost four times more than that of regular education services) but with less funding.

 

If the proposal goes through, it won’t be the first time Homer 33C has been asked to do more with less money. For the past several years, the state has not only reduced funding to schools but skipped payments altogether.

 

Administrators have responded by implementing a number of cost-saving measures, including a realignment of job duties throughout the district and a sharing of resources between departments and schools to meet student needs when possible.

 

Recently, the district embarked on a plan to save $100,000 by converting 500 aging laptops to Chromebooks using CloudReady.

 

“We are cognizant of our responsibility to be good financial stewards,” said Coglianese. “Everyone in our district is on the lookout for ways to be more efficient and save taxpayer dollars.

 

“The State of Illinois is trying to do the same,” she acknowledged. “We just hope it doesn’t fall on the shoulders of our students with disabilities.”

 

 

 

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