Deadlock over school funding could close districts this fall - KMOV.com

Deadlock over school funding could close districts this fall

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The superintendent of Bethalto schools says lack of funding from Springfield would force them to close. Credit: KMOV The superintendent of Bethalto schools says lack of funding from Springfield would force them to close. Credit: KMOV
BETHALTO (KMOV.com) -

The political deadlock over school funding in Illinois' capitol has superintendents wondering if they can keep classrooms open this fall.

The failure to reach a deal on school funding in Illinois by Friday will likely mean the first state aid payments to districts will not be delivered by August 10.

"It's going to be up to the politicians how long we keep the doors open." says Bethalto superintendent Dr. Jill Griffin.

The Bethalto School District is counting on a state aid payment of $814,000 this month and without it, the district will be deep in the red and according to Dr. Griffin, forcing them to close.

"For us, I would say it's approximately a month," Griffin says.

Lawmakers and the Governor are at odds over a school funding bill that would pump more money into downstate districts and also help out the pension program for Chicago Public Schools.

Many Metro East school districts are at the point where they can no longer cut budgets or raise taxes to make up for the lost state aid.

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