A large crowd assembled near the Vandalia Statehouse to show support for school funding. Illinois has gone for just under two years with no budget and the state’s educational institutions are feeling the strain. Wednesday’s rally was to encourage state officials to take action on funding schools. Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well addressed the crowd with a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
Without stopgap funding, many Illinois schools will be forced to operate on reserves or face not being able to open at all. Effingaham Superintendent Mark Doan and Teutopolis Superintendent Bill Fritcher said on separate occasions that their districts could operate for a least a year, with no cuts to programs, without state funding, but many other Illinois schools are not so lucky.
Governor Bruce Rauner has refused to sign any school funding bills that bail out Chicago Public Schools. Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, also attended the rally. He said that Chicago and downstate values weren’t so different. Claypool is from St. Elmo.
Also at Wednesday’s rally, was Sandoval School District Superintendent Jennifer Garrison. She said that her district is in full crisis-mode.
Following the past two days of closed meetings in Springfield, lawmakers have supposedly reached an agreement for a 6 month stopgap school funding bill that could be voted on Thursday. The next fiscal year begins Friday.
Story, image, and audio courtesy of Todd Stapleton of Vandalia Radio.