FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2003
State Superintendent announces agency budget cuts
State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller
today announced cuts in the Illinois State Board of Educations
(ISBE) FY04 budget to keep the agencys spending
in line with the budget proposed by the Governor and approved
by the General Assembly.
In a message sent yesterday, the superintendent informed
ISBE employees that to balance the agency budget, it will
be necessary to eliminate 45 positions and reduce spending
in every category, particularly on contractual agreements,
effective June 30. According to Schiller, additional positions
would have had to be eliminated had the agency not been
able to identify about 35 positions that could legitimately
be transferred within the agency and paid for with federal
In anticipation of the reduced appropriation, the agency
has in recent months reduced operating costs by freezing
management salaries, cutting travel and the purchase of
commodities and reducing office space in Springfield by
8,000 square feet. Even with these reductions, elimination
of positions is necessary.
The reduction by the General Assembly to our operations
budget means we do not have sufficient funds to support
our projected level of staffing, said Schiller.
This is a great disappointment for the board, the
agency and me. There is no doubt these cuts will reduce
our capacity to serve Illinois school districts and students.
The agency had planned for 640 positions in its proposed
budget at an expenditure of about $40 million - $24.6
million from state funds, the rest from federal funds.
Although the amount of available federal funds has increased,
the FY04 budget passed by the General Assembly reduced
the agencys funds available for salaries by $7.1
million compared to FY03, leaving $17.5 million in General
Revenue Funds for that purpose. That total will support
about 275 positions.
Over the past 18 months, through a combination of re-organization,
streamlining, attrition and the states Early Retirement
Initiative, ISBEs head count has dropped from about
700 to the current 535. Management positions, which totaled
67 in October, 2002, now number 58 -- a reduction of 13
The cuts announced today affect the following of the
agencys organizational centers: Public
Information, Human Resources, Planning and Performance/Regional
Offices, Operations, Standards-Aligned Learning, Teaching
and Leadership, Special Education and Information Technology.
The agency also will close its Mount Vernon office.
The 45 positions announced for elimination today include
18 in the AFSCME (American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees) bargaining unit, 16 in the IFSOE
(Illinois Federation of State Office Educators) bargaining
unit, four probationary employees, three resignations
and four non-union employees.
Schiller also announced the agency will reduce its contractual
obligations by a minimum of $9.6 million in state funds
out of a total of $33.8 million. Most of the remaining
contractual money is earmarked to assessment programs
and building rent.
Further reductions in contracts may be necessary, Schiller
said. If the Governor uses his item veto authority to
reduce or eliminate any other lines in the ISBE budget,
or if the allocated state revenues are reduced throughout
the fiscal year, additional decisions on personnel would
have to be made as well.
If the State succeeds in selling the James R. Thompson
Center in Chicago, where ISBEs offices are located,
and the agency is required to lease space, additional
reductions in personnel could be necessary, Schiller said.
Schiller and center directors began meetings Wednesday
regarding the cutbacks with affected individuals and with
More information on the State Education Budget FY04 can
be accessed at: www.isbe.net/board/meetings/june03meeting/schedule.htm.