SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An $89 million cut to school transportation in Illinois remains after the General Assembly failed to restore the funds in an extended veto session last week.
The reduction in reimbursements for school transportation was made by Gov. Pat Quinn for fiscal year 2012. It was one budget issue that was not resolved when the General Assembly met for its fall veto session in late October and early November.
The House and Senate met for an extended veto session on Nov. 29, but they did not restore the $89 million.
School District 54 in Schaumburg said in an announcement on its website that the state cut means a loss of $1.4 million in revenue for the district.
State pupil transportation director Cinda Meneghetti told SBF that a positive development from the veto session was the reinstatement of salaries for regional superintendents and assistant regional superintendents at the state’s Regional Offices of Education. The salaries had been taken out of the budget as of June 30.
Those regional offices, Meneghetti noted, perform many services for school districts, including school bus driver training and teacher education.
Officials continue to hold on to the possibility that the school transportation funds could return.
“We have not given up hope that this money may be restored in the future,” Meneghetti said, “and hopefully [we’ll] be given more funds to cover the rising costs of fuel, etc.”