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Local School Administrators Vent About State Funding

Posted by wlpo on April 15, 2013

The ongoing battle of Chicago versus the rest of the state rages on when it comes to state funding of education.

After leaders like Governor Pat Quinn commented downstate Illinois schools were getting a “free lunch” with pension payments, Rezin says Republican staffers in the senate sifted through how Illinois spreads around its state education aide and they found Chicago schools are getting the “free lunch”.  She reported on her staff’s findings Monday in front of around 20 area school superintendents and principals.

Even though Chicago Public Schools only make up 18 percent of Illinois’ total student population, Rezin says they get nearly 800 million dollars more in state aide.  Rezin gave other examples of the state “supersizing” Chicago’s lunch saying while they only have 31 percent of the state’s eligible students for poverty grant money, Chicago Public Schools are getting 47 percent of all poverty funds.

A fired up Peru Elementary Superintendent Mark Cross said that Illinois is dead last in the country when it comes to state funding for education.  He says Illinois puts 60 percent of the funding burden on local taxpayers compared to the national average of 43 percent.

And for those of you who say cutting administrators will solve the crisis, Cross says it won’t.  He says administrative costs in the Peru Elementary School District account for 5 percent of total expenses.

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