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Gov. Pritzker’s budget address concerns some Illinois school administrators

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(WSIL) -- Governor JB Pritzker's budget address has raised concerns for some Illinois school administrators.

In Wednesday's address, Governor Pritzker proposed $350 million in funding for schools across the state.

"This budget makes a historic investment in K-12 schools, with a new $350 million of equitable funding, as Illinois continues down the path of ending our ignominious distinction as the worst state in the nation for state funding of public education," the governor said.

But there's a catch, that number could drop to $200 million if the state doesn't change how it collects income taxes.

For the last three years, funding for schools ranged from $300 to $350 million, which has provided many resources in towns like Johnston City.

"It has been a huge life saver for us and has made it possible for us to provide new programs for our kids, to reduce class sizes. It's allowed us to add new social-emotional curriculum, hire school social workers," said Superintendent Kathy Clark.

While Clark is grateful for the funding, she believes Governor Pritzker's new proposal will affect her budget plans.

"What will we do? What will we fund? What could we add? It's tough to add programs when you're uncertain of the funding that you're going to get," she said.

Pritzker's contingency on the graduated income tax is not ideal for Vienna Superintendent Joshua Stafford.

"We can't have political contingencies tied to education of our children of Illinois. It's impossible for a school district to plan for next school year and have contingencies tied to our funding," he said.

Clark and Stafford are confident Prizker's team will do what's best for Illinois, but the unknown is what concerns them.

"We really need to come together and solve this thing," said Stafford.

If you want to learn more about Pritzker's budget plan, click here.

Maya Skinner

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