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Macomb superintendent: Too many state laws for schools

Dr. Patrick Twomey said he learned at a professional development conference that nearly half of all new bills in Illinois affect school districts in one way or another.

He opposes having so many rules from the state. He said most of what’s done at schools should be through local control.

“I think local communities know their families the best, they know their kids the best, they know how best to spend their resources,” he said.

Twomey said some state mandates are good, and he understands the need for a statewide framework to create some consistency in education.

But he also said it seems the state wants to control 90% of what school districts do while providing only about 25% of their funding.

“I would say most mandates from the state are about things that you must do and that cost money,” he said.

He said the number of mandates is beginning to affect school districts’ ability to operate efficiently.

He said the state shouldn’t be telling local districts how many employees they should have, how much to pay them, or how many hours their employees should work each week.

“Those are the things that the state is stepping into that, in my view, they don’t have any business telling local communities how to best spend their own tax dollars,” he said.

Twomey said some small school districts are having to hire assistant superintendents just to manage the mandates.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.