State: ‘There is no money’

By on March 12, 2010

Kaneland, state officials discuss financial woes
KANELAND—A meeting with State Representative Kay Hatcher (Dist. 50) on Monday confirmed what Kaneland School District officials already knew—school funding from the state will be severely cut.

“The legislators used the word ‘insolvent’ to describe the state’s financial situation,” Kaneland School Board president Lisa Wiet said. “They said, ‘There are no miracles. There is no money.’”

School Board member Diane Piazza said that the state’s deficit equals 40 percent of its budget, which will have a huge impact on schools and other recipients of state funding.

“Unfortunately, it simply reinforced that our Phase Two plan is not only practical, but needed,” District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said. “It continues to look like a realistic plan.”

Hatcher and State Rep. Roger Eddy, who is also a part-time superintendent of a small rural school district, met with school district superintendents, board members and other school officials within Hatcher’s district to make sure that districts were not ignoring the reality of the situation.

“She (Hatcher) said, ‘You need to plan for a loss in state revenue,’” Wiet said.

Hatcher confirmed that there is the potential of up to a $2.2 million shortfall from the state for the Kaneland School District, Wiet said.

“They are aware of the difficulty it puts us in, but they didn’t do anything to suggest a solution to that,” Wiet said.

Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler said that Hatcher and Eddy do not expect anything to change prior to the elections in November. Their recommendations for school districts included borrowing money, cutting expenses, and doing whatever necessary to prepare for the shortfall in funding.

Kaneland administrators have begun working on what they are calling Phase Two of the cuts to address the shortfall in funding from the state. While they are analyzing staffing needs in various areas of the district, they will move forward to release 110 first-, second-, third- and fourth-year teachers to provide them with the flexibility they will need.

The Phase Two reduction has to be finalized by May 24, he said. That gives the School District 45 days prior to the end of the school year to notify teachers.

Schuler said that, ultimately, approximately 30 teachers will lose their jobs. The administration will be able to call back the remaining teachers once they understand the impact of the state’s shortfall, which he said could take them into the summer.

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4 Comments

  1. Elburnite

    March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    I don’t understand this. We pay a good portion of taxes to the state to fund our schools so our children are properly educated, and they say they don’t have any money to support the schools. Who’s getting all the money? Gov. Quinn wants to raise our taxes by 1%, claiming the additional funds will go to the schools. There are no policies in place to follow the money and make sure that the classroom and teachers are provided for. The money would most likely go to bureaucrats or upper level school administration. I’m really disappointed that I’ve been paying taxes for many years towards education and now that I have children entering the school system, they will not recieve a proper education.

  2. RM

    March 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Compared to other states, we don’t pay a “good” portion of taxes to the state. 3% is peanuts. That’s why we have to keep paying higher and higher property taxes. When your property taxes are double your income tax, something is seriously wrong.

    You can bet that Hatcher had zero ideas to properly fund education. She needs to be given the boot. She isn’t doing her job. Like most politicians, she is only working for herself with token acts for the people.

    Gutting all social programs and education is not an answer. All political placeholders need to be voted out and we need to start from scratch with people of action instead of words.

  3. Fred

    March 13, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Actually RM, some states don’t have a sales tax. We pay plenty to the state, they just can’t manage it wisely. I agree that we should probably start over rather than expect those holding office now to deliver when they have already proven year over year they are unable.

  4. RM

    March 13, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    All states have taxation in one form or another. Government doesn’t provide services for free. I’m not aware of any states that don’t have a sales tax but there are some without a state income tax. In those states, sales taxes, property taxes and fees are huge. In the case of Alaska, they bilk the oil industry for a big chunk of money. So you could say we all pay for Alaska not having a state income tax.

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