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Illinois Board of Education Wants Budget Increase

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill – The Illinois State Board of Education this afternoon approved a $7 billion budget proposal that would increase state funding by 9 percent.

The action brought immediate criticism from Governor Rod Blagojevich for reinstating money he cut from regional superintendents. The budget also includes $500,000 to reopen a Chicago teacher certification office closed last week because of state budget cuts.

In all, the proposal asks for a $610 million increase in state funding. It comes as state budget officials predict a deficit as large as $2 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

State Superintendent Robert Schiller says $573 million of the proposed increase would go toward programs that either have mandatory increases or those the governor and lawmakers have pledged to support. He says that includes a $250 increase in general per-pupil spending.

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