Schools take heavy hit in new Illinois budget

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois schools would lose $210 million under the budget approved by legislators last week, leaving the state even further away from its goal of providing a basic "foundation level" of funding for every student.

Free meals for poor students would also be cut back if Gov. Pat Quinn signs the budget into law, as would early childhood education.

The advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children says the people "who will be most hurt are those most in need."

The budget includes money to maintain two prisons that were slated to close and to operate agriculture labs and state police communications facilities that were going to be consolidated.

Community care for senior citizens is also on the short list of programs getting more money.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.