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Countdown to ultimate crisis begins

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017

* Oy…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - PhoneLinesAreNecessary - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:40 pm:

    If we want a budget, we can not do another stop-gap for education.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    I’ll hazard a guess that most of them are in GOP districts in the governor’s Downstate base.


  3. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    Not sure I understand “90 days of cash”? Is that school year days? summer days included?


  4. - Chicago Guy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    A lot won’t be able to open even for 90 days.

    http://thesouthern.com/news/local/education/as-lawmakers-spar-over-education-funding-reform-some-local-schools/article_eb77c072-d510-5b16-8aa5-b40af468737e.html


  5. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    Here is the real question for a lot of people. If a high school can’t open for the school year, can they still field a high school football team in the fall?


  6. - J IL - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    It seems more and more like a K-12 stopgap will pass and for the rest of us…hope there are enough lifeboats


  7. - Blue Bayou - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    I’ll be dollars to donuts there will be no K-12 stopgap.

    The Dems (esp in the Senate) are committed to not giving the Gov and GOP a way out of agreeing on a budget.


  8. - Blue Bayou - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    I’ll “bet.” Sorry….


  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:51 pm:

    Too many will assume this means we don’t need a budget until Christmas.


  10. - Seats - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:54 pm:

    Is there a list of which 144?


  11. - doggonit - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    No stopgap for k 12 doggonit!
    I think there’s resistance to the idea among many Dem and a few Rep legislators.


  12. - PENSIONS ARE OFF LIMITS - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:10 pm:

    The “ultimate” crisis will undoubtedly create the “ultimate” opportunity. This is Govjunk’s last chance to sign a state budget. Ever.


  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:25 pm:

    I don’t think the governor will abandon K-12 education. He hasn’t in the past, except for CPS.


  14. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    Silly people. Ya’ll know good and well K-12 will open. Aint a politician in the world who will prevemt hs football season from opening. Anyone wanna make a wager?


  15. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    ..not opening.


  16. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:36 pm:

    I also would like to see the list of 144.

    Will be great fun to look at those districts’ votes in the 2014 gubernatorial and 2016 presidential races.

    Will these districts exemplify H.L. Menken’s statement that the average American “deserves to get what he wants, and he deserves to get it good and hard.”


  17. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    And what superintendent would be foolish enough to put football teams on the field when teachers are on furlough and parents are engaged in a daily scramble for child care?


  18. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    Most of them.


  19. - DRB - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 6:21 pm:

    Let’s just say that the GA and Gov found a way to pass a budget. Does the State have the cash in the bank to start sending out?


  20. - Opiate of the Masses - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 7:22 pm:

    no school, no football. can’t play if not in session.


  21. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 8:03 pm:

    Highway construction shuts down Friday night. Schools are the second domino.


  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 8:12 pm:

    –Highway construction shuts down Friday night.–

    No worries, it can wait until January, right?

    Can you believe that? Road construction and maintenance is one of the founding reasons for even originally organizing as a state.

    But like every other core responsibility of state government, it’s just not worth doing unless Boss Rauner gets his $100 million worth and way more than 90% of his scatterbrained agenda for which he can’t articulate coherent, tangible benefits more than two years in.

    At least that’s his public position.

    Personally, I think he just likes watchin’ it burn.

    Rauner brings new meaning to government entitlement — it’s his government, and he’s entitled to do as he wishes with it.


  23. - GINA T. - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 9:28 pm:

    Why does a state with 102 counties even have 144 school districts?


  24. - Leaf Coneybear - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 10:45 pm:

    ISBE Financial Profile Scores are based, in part, on days cash on hand. In the “DCOH” column in the following report, look for districts with scores of .1 or .2

    https://www.isbe.net/Documents/2017-School-District-Financial-Profile-Report%20.pdf

    The report defines the DCOH rating as follows:
    Days Cash on Hand (has a weighting of 10%)
    Category 4 [score of .4] At least 180 days cash on hand [lowest risk]
    Category 3 [.3] Less than 180 days cash on hand to at least 90 days cash on hand
    Category 2 [.2] Less than 90 days cash on hand to at least 30 days cash on hand
    Category 1 [.1] Less than 30 days cash on hand [highest risk]

    This report is based on FY16 financials, so I’m seeing fewer than 144 districts at .2 or .1. But, this gives a good idea.


  25. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:35 pm:

    @GINA T–

    Oh, it’s even better than that.

    Illinois has 852 school districts. Almost 250 of them have only one building.

    We have school districts that have fewer than 100 students. Some districts are so small they run on Peachtree software.

    Yet all have a superintendent and an elected, 7 member board.

    And don’t you dare insinuate that they should consolidate with a neighbor, or with a district they feed in to.

    They exist. They must be fed.

    And they expect 50% of their funding to come from the State of Illinois, but don’t you dare talk about responsible taxation, or think that when the State provides 50% (or more!) of their operating funds the State should have 50% control of their expenses.

    Local control! And they’re not getting welfare; they’re self-sufficient. Welfare is what people in cities like Chicago or St. Louis get.

    And in the meantime, some high schools have no advanced placement classes, and only teach calculus every other year.

    And then they turn around and whine they aren’t getting any economic development.


  26. - Right Field - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:20 am:

    Lynn S… Size of districts isn’t even in the lowest 25% nationally. We rank #15… meaning 14 states have fewer students per district. It’s not even close to being the problem. Just as with total expenditures per student, Illinois isn’t in the top 25% of states either.


  27. - Mike - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 8:07 am:

    @right Field….so are you saying it makes sense because we are not the worst? That we shouldn’t be looking for ways to cut costs? Please enlighten us.


  28. - Echo The Bunnyman - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 8:44 am:

    Gina and LynnT… You will lose that argument because the other side will cite studies that will show consolidation doesn’t save money. The studies are flawed. They don’t start with schools like the north shore that are all flush with money. Stevenson and New Trier need to be separate from their K-8 feeder schools? Sure they do.. There is no savings to be found there.. Snark! No politician has the political will to change the education funding the way it really needs changing…. Real consolidation is a key component. All of the solutions are based in part by allocating money between a too large of system. The only way to change is the pension cost shift. Have the local schools start paying more of the retirement portion. You will see voluntary consolidation on a massive scale…


  29. - Lynn S. - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:10 am:

    @Right Field:

    So you’re okay with the duplication of administrative positions, and all the dollars funding those folks?

    Because that’s money that’s not going into classrooms.

    Assuming the average superintendent in our state makes $100k/year, taxpayers in Illinois pay $852,000,000–plus benefits!!–just in superintendent salaries.

    And I can think of a district in western Illinois that wanted to cut costs, but they were paying their transportation director $60k/year. This district had 10 buses, a mechanic, and a secretary. The transportation director refused to implement computerized bus routing, because he felt he could do a better job himself.

    So it isn’t just the superintendents. It’s the assistant supes, the technology directors and coaches, the directors of maintenance and transportation and food service, and all the other hidden costs that are driving budgets and killing the districts by a thousand small cuts.

    You probably can make a case for almost every school in the state.

    But I grew up in a County with a population just under 11,000. (This County had its highest population–roughly 16,000–before 1930, and has been declining ever since). The children in that County are split between 8! different school districts (all k-12 districts).

    How in God’s name do you justify 852 districts over 102 counties? That’s arguing for the needs of administrators (adults) over students (kids).


  30. - Lynn S. - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    @Echo:

    I have the suspicion that if 90% of all elementary feeder districts, we’d see a 20-30 drop in costs.

    Your North Shore districts might be able to afford independence. But here in Central Illinois, we’ve got Rantoul Township High School, with feeder districts in Thomasboro, Ludlow, Gifford, Rantoul City Schools (k-8), and Prarieview (which sends its kids to Rantoul and SJO for high school, depending on where they live). Close to $500,000 in superintendent salaries for less than 4000 kids, but in Champaign Unit 4 (k-12) the new superintendent will make $230k for 9500 kids.

    A big reason I have opposed school funding reform is that it isn’t about improving student performance; it’s about propping up districts that refuse to consolidate.


  31. - Lynn S. - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    Meant to say “If 90% of all elementary feeders merged with their high school districts, we’d see a 20-30% reduction in costs.”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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