State budget cuts could put squeeze on Metro East schools -

State budget cuts could put squeeze on Metro East schools

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Massive budget cuts and tough decisions are facing school districts and cities all over the state of Illinois.

District officials with the Belleville School District told News 4 that the governor's proposed cuts to the Local Government Distributive Fund doesn't directly affect them, but they also say they are facing drastic budget issues.

"I don't want to have to cut the LGDF but we also need to live within our means and have a balanced budget,” said Ilinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rauner's proposal to cut a portion of the state income tax local municipalities share from 8 to 4 percent would lead to cuts.

The City of Belleville is facing a $2.2 million shortfall under Rauner's proposal. For that reason, many local mayors are fighting the plan.

Belleville School District officials argue they too are dealing with similar budget issues.

"Our two largest funding sources are the local property tax levy and general state aid from the state of Illinois so cuts will happen if we don't get the rest of our reform agenda done,” said Ryan Boike, Assistant Superintendent for Finance.

Boike says the district has lost $6.5 million in the last five years due to proration all while enrollment continues to increase.

Rauner said he's working to put more emphasis on education.

"Irrespective of anything else, I want to increase state support for education. We are the worst state. We're 50 out of 50 among the state for state support of K-12 schools, I want to increase that by at least 300 million dollars,” he said.

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