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Educators concerned about Pritzker’s funding plan

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Educators at Quincy Public Schools are concerned about governor J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget. They say the uncertainty of funding creates obstacles that could impact students.

"We're kind of putting Band-Aids on things right now. We need a permanent fix," said Quincy Junior High School Assistant Principal Brenda Fleer.

If voters reject Governor Pritzker’s income tax plan, the state would increase its share of funding to public schools by $200 million, missing the $350 million minimum increase set by the state’s evidence-based funding formula, and only the highest-need schools in Illinois would receive that additional funding.

"We are mandated to do many, many things, yet we don't get the funding for it," said Fleer.

If voters approve the income tax measure, the additional $150 million school funding increase would be distributed more broadly. But still, while waiting for Election Day, Fleer says districts would be left in limbo.

"We have diversified needs, whether it be through their social, emotional issues or with academia, said Fleer."There's a lot of need out there, we've got to be able to meet those needs."

QPS Superintendent Roy Webb says the district is still owed $22 million from the state, that could go to a lot of things, like funding the mandated minimum $40,000 teacher pay.

"We could really tackle those problems head on and solve some of them," said Webb.

Webb says he does not want to make cuts like they had to do three years ago.

"It's kind of expected in Illinois, that's why we work hard to have a balanced budget in QPS," he said.

Alexandra Carter

WGEM News Anchor

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