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Ill. budget cuts could mean 13,400 teacher layoffs

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:48 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois education officials say districts could be forced to lay off thousands of teachers and borrow money to stay afloat if proposed budget cuts take effect next year.

The State Board of Education and other agencies are testifying before lawmakers Friday about the impact of a 20 percent cut.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton says Illinois will have a $3 billion budget gap next year. That includes a $1.5 billion decrease in revenues if a temporary income tax increase expires as scheduled.

State Superintendent Chris Koch says the cuts would mean 13,400 teachers would be laid off.

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy says Democrats are presenting the "doom and gloom" scenarios to justify extending the tax increase.

Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to present his proposed 2015 budget Wednesday.

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