HEADLINES : Illinois
Schools take heavy hit in new Illinois budget
Illinois schools would lose $210 million under the state budget approved by legislators last week, meaning Illinois will fall even further behind in providing the "foundation level" of basic funding for each student.
Free meals for poor students and early childhood education would also be cut back if Gov. Pat Quinn signs the budget into law, which he began doing Thursday with a bill that mostly makes adjustments to the current budget. Colleges, state parks and health care for the poor all face cuts, too.
"The budget awaiting the governor's action is painful, and the Illinoisans who will be most hurt are those most in need," concluded the advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children.
The budget includes money to maintain two prisons that had been slated to close and to keep operating agriculture labs and state police communications facilities that were going to be consolidated. Community care for senior citizens is also on the short list of programs getting more money.