Illinois public schools face fear of going unfunded in 2016-2017 - KMOV.com

Illinois public schools face fear of going unfunded in 2016-2017 school year

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Granite City High School (Credit: KMOV) Granite City High School (Credit: KMOV)

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Public education in Illinois could go unfunded, leaving the opening of 2016-2017 school year in question.

The problem is stemmed from the ongoing fight between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

Districts like Granite City suffer with a funding system they say shortchanges them. There is also the uncertainty of whether there will even be a state budget to fund education in 2016.

Granite City Superintendent Jim Greenwald said, "We cannot continue to maintain and sustain what we do if we don't get some help."

Greenwald says the news he receives keeps getting worse. He confirmed new figures from senate Democrats that show his district will receive $600,000 less in state funding.

Parents say this decrease in funding needs to stop.

"Last couple years everything was free and now the kids have to pay for everything to play sports,” said one parent.

Another parent said, "The schools should not be an option when we say the kids are valuable, then we need to act like it when it comes to allocating the money so they get the education they need."

Granite City along with other less affluent districts have fallen victim to a funding system that doles out less aid to the poorer districts. Changing that system is now pitting downstate Democrats against upstate Republicans and leaving districts like Granite City wondering if the system will ever get fixed.

"I'm positive. The entire board is positive. But we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best and doing that our board has courageously cut and cut till it can't cut anymore,” said Greenwald.

In 2015, even without a state budget, lawmakers did pass a plan to keep education money flowing. But in 2016, no one is making promises that will happen again.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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