SPRINGFIELD– Moody’s Investors Service issued a report today on the State of Illinois’ failure to distribute the first payment of FY 2018 general state aid to school districts; estimating that credit ratings of 5-20 school districts will deteriorate within months if the funding delay persists.
State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is calling on the General Assembly to quickly reconvene and pass legislation he filed Wednesday to fund elementary and secondary education at last year’s spending levels to allow all Illinois public schools to open on time for the new school year and remain open.
Representative Batinick’s legislation, House Bill 4085, currently has five co-sponsors representing school districts throughout suburban and Downstate Illinois. Senate Bill 1, school funding reform legislation that was partially vetoed by the Governor still pending in the House of Representatives, contains over $571 million in new education spending for Illinois schools. Representative Batinick is urging colleagues to work out how to distribute this new funding on an equitable basis after immediately passing legislation to get and keep schools open in the interim.
“In light of Moody’s report today, it is more imperative than ever that we move quickly to pass what everyone has already agreed to – protect every school district at last year’s funding level,” Rep. Batinick said. “We should fund schools right now while negotiations continue on addressing the inequities in our school funding system. We cannot keep governing from crisis to crisis.”
Moody’s rates Illinois Baa3 (the bottom level of investment grade) with a negative outlook.
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