IL BOE Slashes Programs

Springfield, IL – The Illinois Board of Education has approved a budget that eliminates after-school and gifted programs and cuts funding for numerous programs. The program funding cuts include early childhood, reading and foreign language instruction by as much as half. Members also voted at an emergency meeting today to severely reduce funding for arts, agricultural education, and advanced placement classes. Money for bilingual studies, the rehabilitation of truant students, and the visually impaired was also slashed. Chairman Jesse Ruiz said lawmakers had given the board no choice. They approved an overall education budget of nearly $7.3 billion for fiscal 2010, a 2 percent decrease from the year before.