Unity Point School Dealing with Cuts

May 20, 2013

Many Illinois educators are having a difficult time planning for the next school year because of uncertain funding.

According to the Illinois Board of Education, the state cut more than 500 million dollars from schools this year.

At the Unity Point School District in Carbondale, that means a loss of $500 per student.

Unity Point School in Carbondale, Illinois.

District superintendent Lori James Gross says for the past several years state budget cuts have forced them to make so many layoffs that now they have to consider cutting things like music and sports.  "We're going to have to start looking at everything from academics to our extracurricular programs, whether or not we can maintain a fine arts program or whether or not we can maintain an athletics program."
 
Unity Point is not alone. Chicago is trying to close schools, and House Speaker Mike Madigan says two-thirds of Illinois school districts are in a budget deficit, even after layoffs and program cuts.

Some are calling on lawmakers to use the last days of the spring session to restore education funding by passing proposals that cut corporate tax loopholes, restructure state debt, and fix its broken pension system.