Save the Ag Ed Line Item
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner proposed eliminating funding for the agriculture education line item in his annual budget address. The Governor has stated several times that he supports agriculture education, but believes that special line items should be eliminated so that local school districts may make their own decisions about how to spend the dollars they are allocated. The State Board of Education recommends funding be set at $3.0 million and the line item is currently funded at the level of $1.8 million.
What Does the Ag Ed Line Item Do?
It funds important agriculture education initiatives including providing grants based on program performance, curriculum resources, teacher development and support through the FCAE Program, and mini-grants to improve technology in classrooms. The total direct and indirect value of the agriculture education line item to local school districts is valued at over $5,000.
What is the Current State of the Ag Ed Line Item?
The Governor’s budget is just a proposed budget. The Illinois General Assembly must appropriate funding for the K-12 budget for the coming fiscal year. The Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers, the Illinois FFA, the Illinois Leadership Council on Agriculture Education and other agriculture industry groups are working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to restore the Agriculture Education Line Item.
Budget discussions will continue over the next couple of months. Budget hearings are expected to be conducted in both the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House over the next month.
What Can I Do?
Contact your senator or representative today and ask them to fund the Ag Ed line item. Tell them the importance of this funding source to agriculture and the state of Illinois.
Not sure who your legislators are or how to contact them? Click on the "Lookup My Legislator" button below. You will be directed to the State Board of Elections website. Click on the Mobile/Lite Version on the right and then enter your address.