4 Metro East school districts make state financial watch list - KMOV.com

4 Metro East school districts make state financial watch list

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Bethalto schools. Credit: KMOV Bethalto schools. Credit: KMOV
BETHALTO (KMOV.com) -

Four school districts in the Metro East are on watch after earning the state's lowest financial ranking.

Low cash and high debt led to Madison County having the most districts make the list in all of Illinois. 

The Alton, Bethalto, Edwardsville and Triad districts are all on the watch list because of their spending in the fiscal year, 2016.

Bethalto is also one of 17 Metro East school districts suing the state, arguing they aren't receiving enough funding.

"Here we are, it's the end of April and we've received not one dime for special education, not one dime for transportation," said Bethalto Superintendent Dr. Jill Griffin. "They have to pay us the revenue they owe us in order for us to do a better job."

Dr. Griffin told News 4 their district cut $2.2 million in spending and took out a $2 million line of credit just to make payroll after not receiving $1.8 million in funds.

The issue also brought cuts to resources for special education students.

"It's frustrating, very frustrating, said Bethalto parent Lori White.

White's son saw his special needs class size double because of the lack of funds.

"I wanted something else, I didn't want him put in that classroom, but there just was no choice," said White.

Out of the 2,500 children enrolled in Bethalto's district, 400 are involved in some form of special education.

News 4 reached out to State Senator Bill Haine about the issues in his area but are still awaiting his response.

"We need to come together on this on behalf of the children in the state of Illinois," said Dr. Griffin. "It's not about Democrats and Republicans, it's about the kids."

All four districts are being reviewed by the state to determine whether or not a financial oversight panel is in need.

While they continue the fight for funding in the courtroom, Dr. Griffin is urging concerned parents to reach out to legislators regarding the budgetary issues.

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