Will parents soon have to pay for the bus that takes their children to school?
It may come to pass because of Illinois' harrowing budget shortfall. The State Board of Education could introduce legislation this week that would either eliminate buses altogether or charge for transporting students to and from school.
Transportation funding for schools already has been slashed by 42 percent since 2010, according to the Associated Press. And the state wants funding to stay flat for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
It's no secret Illinois is in a financially tough spot.
Gov. Pat Quinn last week proposed measures to keep rising Medicaid and pension costs at bay.
To solve the former, Quinn wants cigarette taxes raised by $1 a pack to fill a $2.7 billion hole in the system. He also wants to reduce services for the poor and cut payments to health-care providers.
As for solving the state's soaring debt related to pension costs, the governor wants to delay the cost-of-living adjustment to age 67 or five years after retirement, and raise the retirement age to 67, the latter of which will "be phased in over several years."
"We have to act quickly," Quinn said last Friday during a news conference. "We have our plan."
Meanwhile, Illinois' education board is dealing with fewer dollars for local districts and trying to do more with less.
That could mean changing the way districts get funding for busing, according to the Associated Press. Instead of Illinois reimbursing school districts for a fixed percentage, for example, average statewide costs would be calculated and districts would be paid back for costs up to that average.
It's not clear how the proposal would affect Chicago Public Schools.