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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2002

STATEMENT OF STATE SUPERINTEDENT ROBERT E. SCHILLER
REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS OF EDUCATION FUNDING ADVISORY BOARD

Local school districts are facing severe financial challenges throughout Illinois as the cost of providing a quality education is rising in all categories – from salaries and benefits to transportation and maintenance of facilities.

I believe there is general agreement – even in these generally difficult fiscal times -- that public education in Illinois needs more money and that the state should provide a greater proportional share of school funding than it does currently.

The members of the Education Funding Advisory Board are to be commended and thanked for the careful job they have done of outlining avenues by which we can reach those goals.

The issues raised by EFAB come around for serious discussion every few years in our state, and they are certain to cause much public debate. In large part, that is the purpose of the work EFAB has done. EFAB’s suggested combination of property tax relief and state revenue increases would assure that the state will provide the majority of funding for elementary and secondary education. Its recommendations in the area of school district consolidation surely will bring about much discussion.

It is now up to all of us in the education community – and all Illinois taxpayers -- to evaluate carefully EFAB’s revenue-generating suggestions and comment on them. That is what the State Board of Education will do in the coming weeks.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777