WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Educators Call for Funding Changes

Nov 17, 2014

More than 200 school superintendents, principals and administrators from throughout Illinois are expected to descend upon Springfield this week to push for passage of Senate Bill 16.

The legislation would shift funding from Chicago-area schools to downstate districts.

Districts like Galesburg CUSD #205 would see an increase in funding if SB16 passes.
Credit Rich Egger

Galesburg CUSD #205 Superintendent Bart Arthur said the fact that so many education leaders will travel to the Capitol matters to legislators.

“By showing that it was important enough for these administrators, teachers, and separate people to come down and support the bill, hopefully that’ll make a statement to the legislators that it’s definitely time,” Arthur said.

Arthur is disappointed that local lawmakers have yet to support the bill, which could mean an additional $5-million if approved.

He said the current system is not fair to his district, its students and their parents and guardians.

“We spend about $5,050 per student annually, as compared to $8,000 average for our state.  And for some of the suburb schools, they’re spending $19,000 - $20,000 per kid.  And that just isn’t right that they can get a more expensive education up north, just because of where they live,” Arthur said.

He said budget cuts and property tax increases could occur if Galesburg does not receive the full amount of funding it needs to educate its students.