Bruce Rauner proposing a 100% cut
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A new proposal by Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner suggests eliminating funding for agriculture education programs in the state in 2017 – expected to come into effect as part of the fiscal budget on July 1.
Currently, Illinois sets aside approximately $1.8 million for agriculture education. Under Governor Rauner’s proposal, that number would drop to $0.
The alternative would be to completely fund general state aid and allow the school districts to decide where state funding is used.
“I don’t want a school to choose,” Rauner said on a visit to Mt. Vernon High School according to WSIL-TV in Illinois. “Do I get a band or agriculture education? They shouldn’t have to sacrifice one or the other. The resources should be there so they can do both or put it where they want to emphasize.”
The proposed cut to agriculture education has students and teachers concerned about what the future holds.
“Students won’t learn what they need to learn to pursue a career in the future, and if we cut out all this funding we won’t even have an ag program,” Galatia FFA President Becky Gregory told WSIL-TV.
Ann Ochs, an agriculture teacher for Shawnee High School, told KFVS12 that her school received about $2,000 of funding to spend on classroom necessities and that one in every four jobs in the state is related to agriculture.
According to Ochs, the cut could affect nearly 29,000 people.