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Question of the day

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016

* For what I believe to be the first time, the governor was asked today about his proposed budget, which zeroes out state funding for agriculture education…



…Adding… Democratic response…

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement after the governor’s comments regarding Illinois agriculture on Tuesday.

“The governor repeatedly mentions the fact that Illinois’ economy is driven by agriculture but at the same time he wants to completely eliminate agriculture education funding in the state.

“Agriculture education programs allow for our young students interested in careers in agriculture to be educated and prepared to enter that workforce. Without that funding, many school districts would completely eliminate their programs.

“Those who rely on agriculture education funding deserve the guarantee that it will be there. We cannot expect them to be successful when their funding is under attack from the Rauner administration.

“I don’t understand why the governor prioritizes roofs on the barns at the fairground over direct funding for agriculture education in classrooms.”

* The Question: Do you mainly agree with the governor’s approach? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


polls & surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller        

85 Comments
  1. - Not Rich - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    Translation: Give me money and let me spend it how I please, and punish my enemies..


  2. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    Purvis earning that money!


  3. - Trolling Troll - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    I find it best to disagree with everything he says. (In public)


  4. - Belle - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    I agree since I’d like to see schools have the autonomy they need. All schools have different needs and I imagine the requirements vary from year to year.


  5. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    Really. Can we get a spokesperson in here STAT! Get the microphone away from him. Just get it away from him.


  6. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    Yes, in general I agree that we need to give our local education institutions the flexibility and authority to utilize funding that meets their community needs.


  7. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    Rauner isn’t willing to fund agriculture education, but he’s always willing to pose for a selfie with some FFA kids, e.g. https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&client=ubuntu&channel=fs&biw=1173&bih=605&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=governor+rauner+ffa+&oq=governor+rauner+ffa+&gs_l=img.3…8405.11501.0.11637.10.10.0.0.0.0.131.994.6j4.10.0….0…1c.1.64.img..1.0.0.W3BWPG96YRw#imgrc=_

    What a piece of work.

    – MrJM


  8. - MurMan - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    No. If you don’t line item it for ag Ed, then these universities will likely short ag Ed and spend it on university administrative costs. Especially given their recent belt tightening due to there role as hostages in this budget stand off. No way you just lumpsum those schools money and trust they use it on programs that are good for the state, like ag Ed, instead of on some rediculously high salaries for the next university president/chancellor


  9. - Casual observer - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    No. Line items take discretion off the table.


  10. - winning - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    School administrators are looking to cut everything they can, so when they cut Ag. Education, the Bruce can blame them. He gave them the ability to do it, but ignore that fact. If it’s truly a priority for him, he’d keep the line item.


  11. - illini97 - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Wait, so is the cut in Ag Ed equal to the proposed funding increase to all K-12? Is it just a move, an adder or a cut?


  12. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    I was torn, but voted yes. I disagree with the overall approach, but if that’s his approach, he can’t very well start picking and choosing which line items are exempt from that approach. So at least it’s consistent.

    Many a brain exploded on my Facebook page when first this omission came to light.

    Many of the people who bought the whole “fire madigan” narrative were suddenly aghast at the thought of cutting $1.1 million for THEIR favorite program


  13. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    Line items in budgets are a key element of transparency and accountability. Especially when you have a chief executive keen to privatize everything he can. So, no.

    “Let’s not have lots of line items.”

    Governin’ is hard.


  14. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    A mighty NO, especially on this subject. This line item was born out of the mid-80’s and the decimation of ag ed throughout Illinois and the nation, and I won’t go all “soapbox” today. Here’s the link to learn more-

    http://www.agriculturaleducation.org/Ag-Ed%20Advocacy/About-Ag%20Ed

    Rauner is courting the major ire of the agricultural community. The same community that he wants to provide private funds for the fairgrounds. You want private funds, well the line item is a talking point then. Some of the same companies he wants for donors to the fairground foundation, are major partners to Ag Ed.


  15. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    I live in a rural area. Those ag programs have value to the kids who aspire to farm. Is Rauner proposing to cut funding for shop and trade oriented classes in the cities?


  16. - AC - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:28 pm:

    Voted No, not sure a budget without lots of line items is even a budget.


  17. - burbanite - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:28 pm:

    “I don’t understand why the governor prioritizes roofs on the barns at the fairground over direct funding for agriculture education in classrooms.”


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    Voted “No”

    “Why?”

    Having the schools decide, but that sounds swell, but, I’m pretty sure there’s a reason why the FFA funding exists as it does…

    … to protect it from their of a Governor whose heartless cuts include Ag Education.

    Voted “No”


  19. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    Didn’t vote. Wanted to say yes, because I generally favor local control over state mandates on spending, but then again, I don’t trust Rauner any further than I can throw him (I’m 5-9 and an overweight +65 year old). Also, not sure that I would trust all of the locals on how to spend the money some of them are pretty onservative/liberal crackpots with their own agendas….


  20. - illinoised - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    I said no, because his evasive answer of “let the schools decide” translates to Rauner having no interest in ag education.


  21. - out of touch - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    Voted no. If there’s no line item, programs will be ended, as they will be viewed as “non-essential” by administrators.


  22. - Magic carpet ride - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    More victories for my three billionaire friends I speak of as “the taxpayers.”


  23. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    This is how you turn a funded mandate into an unfunded mandate.


  24. - Rayne of Terror - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    If Ag Ed funding is zeroed out it won’t go away in my district because it’s too important. There will be reductions in other areas. Teachers who are full time now will be made part time, I imagine art & music might take a hit. My son’s grade level is particularly small for our school, 50 versus the usual 65-70, so they could skip hiring a third 6th grade teacher for next year (to replace someone moving on) until his cohort moved on to 7th grade.


  25. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    I should have added that I voted “no,” because some schools won’t have the luxury of dropping Ag Education once the funding goes away. Their students and their communities will demand it regardless. Then what?


  26. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    NO. You have to make sure the money goes where it is intended to go. Look at our state’s treatment of funding the pensions for it’s workers. How well does that undesignated pot work for those workers?


  27. - Corporate Thug - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    No. Lawmakers don’t trust him to make decisions. He can say that all he wants, but there’s no trust there. And there won’t be.


  28. - Gordon Willis - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    Voted No….don’t trust the man…and full disclosure I voted for him. Haven’t been this disappointed since 1993.


  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:55 pm:

    No. Not funding ag education in Illinois is the governmental equivalent of eating your seed corn.

    Just more of the continued beating the governor has given Downstate since entering office.

    Good thing the governor plays lip service to Downstate, or they’d get nothing at all from him.


  30. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:56 pm:

    I voted no, but would switch to yes if the RAHN Man proposed sales tax on farm equipment.


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    –* For what I believe to be the first time, the governor was asked today about his proposed budget, …–

    Isn’t that wild?

    You can read so-called “budget stories” in newspapers all over the state and you’ll never see a number or program referenced.

    It’s just “personality conflicts,” like a reality TV show.


  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    Sorry, Anon 1:58 was me.


  33. - Wow - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    No, I do not agree with his approach. He has some of the worst ideas. Does he not have anyone giving him advice or did he just hire a bunch of people that tell him “YES YES YES” those people wont keep you out of trouble!


  34. - Liberty - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    Since when is Rauner on board with local units of government making decisions?


  35. - hot chocolate - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    “I don’t understand why the governor prioritizes roofs on the barns at the fairground over direct funding for agriculture education in classrooms.”=== Sen. Manar, I know reading is hard. But, the bill allows for private funding of events and repairs at the fair. Not sure what ag ed funding has to do with a private foundation to raise money for the fair. Sheesh.


  36. - Rod - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:12 pm:

    Well I voted no, but to be honest the Illinois Association of School Boards along with the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance effectively supports the approach Governor Rauner enunciated in his comment. How is it that Roger Eddy the Executive Director of IASB dodges the bullet of responsibility for the ideology that would cut the line item for Ag ed and only Rauner wears the jacket in the Democratic response?

    The answer lies in Senator Manar’s public support of the Alliance’s Vision 20/20 plan which explicitly promotes having schools play the largest role in deciding how to spend funding from the State. On Manar’s formal support of the Vision 20/20 coalition see http://senatorbarickman.com/Media/News/TabId/677/p/26297/v/2000/senator-barickman-announces-evidencebased-education-funding-reform.aspx


  37. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:13 pm:

    So - he doesn’t want to cut Ag education, but supports schools that cut Ag education.

    What a genius.


  38. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    The last thing that should be done is to give Rauner a lump sum. The result would be his pounding lumps on some … primarily the weakest, like agriculture ed.


  39. - Bigger than local - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    This lin item pays for state level programs that can not be provided from the local level (such as the state level curriculum materials through the MyCaert web portal). Rathher than defunding a system that is working, please move toward the funding levels the education and agriculture experts have asked for.


  40. - DW - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:23 pm:

    The experience that students receive through high school agriculture programs is invaluable. From leadership, teamwork, public speaking, and LIFE SKILLS, the Agriculture Education Line Item is helping to mold students of all interest levels. There is a place in agriculture education for all students - whether they are moving on towards a 2- or 4-year college degree, technical/trade program or directly entering the workforce. With the general funding concerns of most school districts, I would be most concerned about administration and school board members having to make a decision. The Ag Ed Line Item has proven its worth and effectiveness throughout its history - if anything, it should be increased, not zeroed out!


  41. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    This is just a way to reduce or eliminate funding for programs without the Gov. taking any responsibility for the tough decisions.


  42. - Politix - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    Normally I would say no. You know who makes budget decisions at local level? School boards. And you know who sits on school boards? Regular parents, most of whom don’t know jack. Some oversight is needed.

    But would school boards be better off leaving these decisions to the clowns running the state today? That’s a toughie.


  43. - jake - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    My flip response is that I have so given up on this Governor that if he said something I agreed with, I would figure it was an accident. My measured response is that to make changes like this so casually, and with so little thought for the consequences, is irresponsible


  44. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    I’d like to hear from downstate Republican Senators and Reps about this elimination.


  45. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    “to be honest the Illinois Association of School Boards along with the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance effectively supports the approach Governor Rauner enunciated in his comment.”

    How nice for them. Again, budget line items are how you get transparency and accountability.


  46. - Aggie - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    While the agricultural education line item is used to support agricultural education at the local level, the money is very much needed at the state level as well. FCAE (Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education) staff is paid through this line item and they work year round providing professional development for ag teachers, starting new ag programs, and nurturing those programs that need a little extra support. The line item also supports Illinois Ag In The Classroom and curriculum development for agriculture instructors across Illinois. Sending the money to the local level is great, but the support is still very critical at the state level as well!


  47. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    Wensicia- it’s not just downstate. CHSAS is very much in the manner of a magnet school- the type Rauner seems to favor…

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-agschool-st-0322-20160321-story.html

    http://www.chicagoagr.org/about/history.jsp


  48. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:45 pm:

    Voted Yes. “Let’s not have lots of line items…put more $ in education and let schools decide how to spend”

    Let the educators, not politicians, figure out how much to spend on agriculture education. Ends mandates, funded or unfunded.


  49. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    just put a carhartt coat over the ed budget when ag ed funding gets cut. no one will notice what’s going on.


  50. - Ag in my blood - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    Ok so in a prefect world this sounds great. Unfortunately, we are not in a prefect world. The schools are broke, they have received little if any funding this year. There is an attack on teachers and a teacher shortage. So will the money go to ag programs probably not. But the major thing people are missing here is the agriculture line item does not only go to high school ag programs. It goes to teacher resources at a state level, it goes to community programs like ag in the classroom for grade schools, it goes. To promoting agriculture education all over state. How would giving it to schools help those programs? And how will it be given out to those schools? More students= more money? That isn’t how it is given out currently it is based on individual schools activities. Who will regulate this, which I believe is also funded by the line item.


  51. - Blooms of Spring - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    Louis tells us to let the educators not politicians decide how it’s spent. Methinks the elected boards at local level will make those decisions. I also think they are elected politicians for the most part.


  52. - Corporate Thug - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Blooms of Spring nailed it.


  53. - Jennie - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    As an agriculture teacher in Illinois, I depend on this funding to purchase consumables for labs, manuals for judging contests, and additional resources that I use in my classroom throughout the year. If Rauner gets his way and decreases the number of line items while giving more money to education, you can guarantee that money will not see its way into agricultural education programs, which are vastly underrated in schools across the state. These decisions should protect the programs that support quite possibly the most important sector of the American economy!!


  54. - Decaff Coffee Party - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    Makes sense to me that in communities where agriculture is of great local importance that local school boards and administrators might even increase the ag education budget. In other communities, it might be reduced because those districts have other community driven priorities. In any case, at least theoretically the people best suited to make those decisions are locally elected school board members and local administrators. The only mandates that ought to be placed on school districts are those related to student safety and civil rights.


  55. - Politix - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    Our school board is made up of a county auditor, a scientist, a stay at home mom who had worked in HR, a non-parent retiree, a farmer/landscaper and a dude in sales. They’re a good group, but not educators.


  56. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    Rauner’s “let’s not have lots of line items” includes money to assist retired TRS and SURS retired community college employees health insurance. Many of these retirees are not eligible for social security or Medicare. The retired teachers, active teachers, school districts, retired SURS community college employees, active community college employees, and the community colleges all pay into the insurance fund. The state is supposed to pay a fraction of the premium but Rauner has chosen not to. This causes great problems when these retirees need to get medical care, as providers won’t take the insurance and demand cash up front. Money most of the retirees don’t have.


  57. - Farm girl - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:09 pm:

    No, I do not agree. The largest industry in Illinois is the Ag industry, yet it is always on the chopping block. The Ag line item supports not only the educational aspect, but hands-on learning that better prepares these students to be leaders in the future. Ag is sustainable in all environments and areas of the state from gardening and horticulture to turf maintenance, livestock and crops. What other industry cuts across so many lives for such a small line item?


  58. - Feed the Nine - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:15 pm:

    Agriculture is the largest industry in the state. Not just farming, the home to food, fiber, and natural resource companies like: Chicago Board of Trade, John Deere, ADM, and Kraft. 1 in 4 jobs are related to agriculture. Yet schools most schools only have one agriculture teacher. If the state values educating people about agriculture and careers; they need to show it. This is a state wide topic.


  59. - Groucho - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    I voted Yes. Let the local schools and school boards decide what programs best prepare their youth That is what the CTU is always advocating for in Chicago.


  60. - BC - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    Shifting the money from the special line item and plugging it into the GSA formula, as Rauner proposes, will likely lead to less Ag Education. In effect, the funding will be shared among all districts through GSA, even those that don’t have Ag Ed programs, which means it will be a net loss for district that do have Ag Ed.

    Btw, during her Senate budget hearing, Beth Purvis said — much like Rauner in the tweet above — that the administration wants to eliminate special line items that only benefit a handful of districts. But, they still want a special line item for charter schools, which exist in far fewer districts than Ag Ed programs.

    Budgets serve as priority statement. Rauner is stating that charters in Chicago are more important to him than Ag Ed funding. Remember that, downstaters.


  61. - Ottawa - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    I’m shocked that he didn’t tie Ag Education Funding to the elimination of collective bargaining! Is he backing off his agenda? s/


  62. - Rabid - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    Yes I like the approach to dare mike to do it to him. Yes send the line item


  63. - no farms, no food - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    Line items allow some accountability and keep money coming into my classroom. I can use those $’s to expose my students to agriculture. Take away my line item and an administrator/school district will use “my” money in other ways and close my program, after all there is no agriculture near Chicago, right???


  64. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    Even though we live in a big city, my sons participated for several years in the 4-H program at Wagner Farm in Glenview, raising three lambs and a pig. Taught them invaluable lessons, but I could clearly see the budget cuts and belt-tightening at the extension offices. I voted no, will U of I keep supporting their extension offices if it is not earmarked for them?


  65. - Joshua Berg - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    I voted no. The line item makes sure that the money is used for Ag Education and not other programs. While I believe that schools should be able to make funding decisions at the local level, they also need to funded by the state. Without full funding by the state “extras” like agriculture, art, music, PE, and sports are first on the chopping block. The line item provides a life preserver for lean times to guarantee that the funds are always there.


  66. - Mama - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:43 pm:

    No because I don’t trust them to spend the money on Ag. Ed..


  67. - new commenter - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    Let’s be straight forward and say what it will be spent on and then follow through. No smoke screening. Ag Education is needed.


  68. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 4:03 pm:

    That line totals $1.8 million in FY16. That elimination isn’t balancing the budget and wasn’t built into the gov’s proposed school state aid funding level. It’s a cut. AND, ISBE recommended funding it at $3M in FY17, so I would say it’s something the board is supportive of.


  69. - Tough Guy - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    Voted no. Not sure why he is wanting to punish the rural communities that voted him in. Too bad agricultural groups like the Farm Bureau won’t stand up to him on this issue. He has also gutted funding for county fair programs.


  70. - Blago's Hare - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    When school are no longer required to jump through the hoops required by the grant that is funded by this line item, the school administrators will no longer spend said money on the ag programs. These administrators (most but not all) do not see the value in ag or other CTE programs. They will squander the money on one of their pet projects.


  71. - Blago's Hare - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    The Carlinville, Carrolton, and Jerseyville superintendents have been rumored to have requested from Dr. Purvis that these funds “just go to the GSA.”


  72. - JJC Ag Bill - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 4:57 pm:

    I teach Agriculture at a Community College and have often heard the Governor SAY how important Agriculture is to the State of Illinois. I have yet to see any actions on his part that suggest he believes what he says. Defunding Agriculture Education in Illinois would be very damaging to our secondary programs and the FFA Organization as many schools would phase out and end the program without the funding provided by the Ag Education Line Item in the ISBE budget. This would also be detrimental to Community College programs indirectly since many of our students develop their interest in a career in agriculture while in high school and the FFA.


  73. - burbanite - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 5:56 pm:

    C’mon, give the Gov. a break, after all he did pay $61,000 for a prize steer AND donated the meat to U of I, so he supports agriculture and higher ed! /s


  74. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 6:27 pm:

    My question of the day,” did Rich go to Cuba to watch baseball?”


  75. - Mongo - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 6:48 pm:

    Voted no, line items are necessary so that schools and communities have a reliable source of funds on which to plan the development of programs.


  76. - Liberty - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 7:06 pm:

    Leave it to local school boards and there will be no occupational training except for sports.


  77. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 8:54 pm:

    I voted “NO” because for the governor actions and words are the issue. He just cannot be trusted.

    The reality is that the specific line item dollars mean very little to our Ag programming. And that is true for most schools that have Ag. I see the dollars and do the budget, we would continue our program with our without based on the values of our community. The symbolism is meaningful though. This same governor wants to fold special ed funding into the regular formula. This is a bad idea for the same reasons (stated by many others) that rolling ag funding into the formula is bad.

    BTW- Manar is funny because he does the same thing in his “reform” plan.


  78. - Back to Basics - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 9:15 pm:

    I Vote No - Ag education is important to the Illinois Ag Industry’s future success and prosperity. The line item is the only clear way to see that it is funded without playing games with ISBE. Ag Ed is a K-12 initiative that reaches a broad group of students of all ages across this state. I would challenge the State officials wanting to cut it to find another program in IL education that gives a bigger bang-meaning results- for their buck! The IL Ag Ed Line item is critical to the success of IL Ag!


  79. - Inside ag ed - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 10:25 pm:

    Ag Ed line item does some good but don’t kid yourself there is a lot of pork in there. If you take the three million dollars and just give it to our schools it would work out to about 18,000 for each ag Ed department in the state. Think what your local school district could do with that much money from the state each year. Each secondary agriculture program in the state averages around 2000 for their local use for the students. The excess goes into supporting offices and staff members who continually lobby the state for the line item. What a way to run a railroad!


  80. - South Central - Tuesday, Mar 22, 16 @ 10:33 pm:

    I voted NO. As a farmer with an off-farm job in agriculture, I know how important education is for any ag-related career. School districts already can decide if they want ag ed or not, as far as I know. Some rural schools don’t. So, what does that “let the districts decide” stuff even mean? Just another platitude.

    Don’t expect the Farm Bureau or many farmers to make much of a fuss. Rauner is Republican and he’s fightin’ Chicago. That’s all that matters, I guess.

    For what it’s worth, in the mid 1980’s a high school in Chicago had the largest FFA chapter in the state. I don’t know if that’s true now.


  81. - Way Way Down Here - Wednesday, Mar 23, 16 @ 7:47 am:

    ==Don’t expect the Farm Bureau or many farmers to make much of a fuss. Rauner is Republican and he’s fightin’ Chicago. That’s all that matters, I guess.==

    SC, so many people don’t realize how true that is.


  82. - Ag Ed In my blood - Wednesday, Mar 23, 16 @ 8:58 am:

    Inside ag Ed, you are correct only some of the money goes to the local school, however only a small amount of those hired employees time is the line item. Their real job is to spend countless hours working for the teachers in the state developing new curriculum, supporting new teachers, and new programs. FCAE is one of those groups of hard working mostly former ag educators. Ag in the Classroom is another such group, that has nothing to do with high school Ag programs. We, Illinois are very lucky to have them there is no other group in the country like them. And it takes a lot of work off of the agriculture teachers in the state, who are over worked. Remember we are doing this for the future generations.

    South Central- the Chicago school of Ag Science is still the biggest in the state, and I was actually told the biggest in the country of its kind.


  83. - the old man - Wednesday, Mar 23, 16 @ 9:01 am:

    I know too many school boards in southern Illinois who will buy basketball uniforms with any new money and not support agriculture or any other kind of education. The proof is in their past actions.


  84. - greeneag - Wednesday, Mar 23, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    I vote no. He claims to support the future of Agriculture…. and he does for election purposes, stop in Greene County and eat BBQ…..but when the election is over and the calories wear off he’s back to $0 on the Ag Ed line item.


  85. - Norseman Ag - Wednesday, Mar 23, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    I voted No! I was already advised by my Superintendent that if no funding coming specifically from the Ag Ed Line Item, my department will not get it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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