Hearing on State school funding

Before you start laughing too loud, I know… what state school funding?

From the NG’s syndication of the Associated Press:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-10-09/state-school-funding-hearing-planned-champaign.html

“A hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.”

 

According to the latest Unit 4 budget proposal, the state gives Unit 4 $15 million, which accounts for 17% of our district’s budget. Ironically, the ISBE is allowed to dictate a majority of what our schools do. This is the definition of “unfunded mandates.”

 

On the campaign trail, current BOE Presdient Laurie Bonnett spoke about becoming more financially independent. Initially, I did (and still do) think is an awesome idea, and in fact, I have spoken to a previous Board about this very concept. I wonder, though, hypothetically speaking, if we were to become truly, 100% financially independent, does that mean we can start to disregard some of the more stringent rules from the state that tend to be obstacles rather than tools? If we were so inclined, could we then rewrite our policies to actually make sense and be accessible to the common person? Currently, a bulk of our district policies are handed down from lawyers in the ISBE, and as such, are all in legalese and flowery with extraneous language. We the community do not really own it because it is not accessible to us. Can we change that?

 

The news article implies that those who attend will be able to voice their concerns and their thoughts will be “factored” up the ladder and presented to lawyers and elected officials (and something called the Senate Education Funding Committee) who will decide the future of education funding for the next year. Personally, I have never seen any evidence that the voice of those in the trenches have any impact whatosever on those that make decisions in this context. I would love to be proven wrong.

 

The last sentence of the article reads:

“Those who are unable to attend one of the five public hearings are encouraged to email feedback to the state board of education at isbefy15@isbe.net.”

 

I intend to take advantage of that email address and learn a few more things.

 

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