Metro East Schools Illustrate Need for More Funding

Apr 26, 2017

Several Metro East school superintendents are among more than 400 school leaders calling on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the state legislature to pass a budget. That’s on top of a lawsuit asking the state to give schools what they were promised.

Collinsville superintendent Bob Green says his district is receiving another $2 million less in state funding this year. It’s a symptom of Illinois giving only about 80 percent of what it should be to public school districts.

As the budget stalemate reaches nearly two years, Green says he may have to shorten the school year to save money.

"I know not starting school until, you know, say October or ending early in March is kind of drastic, but we’re getting panned into a corner that there’s not going to be a lot of options."

But that move could mean losing even MORE state funding as a penalty.

Democratic State Senator Bill Haine, who represents the Collinsville area, criticizes Rauner for focusing on issues other than education funding.

"We need a groundswell of public opinion focusing on this as the issue, not political issues."

Illinois’ Secretary of Education Beth Purvis says the governor has made recommendations to make school funding more equitable.

In the meantime, student fees in Collinsville will increase and a spot on the high school baseball team next year will cost $100 instead of $75 this season. Fees for art classes and driver’s ed are also going up.