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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
- 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…
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).
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.