Lack of state funding causes problems for Illinois schools
Two years without a state budget continues to take a toll on school districts throughout the state of Illinois.
Dustin Day, the superintendent of the Waverly Community Unit School District, said he still has not received his state payments for this fiscal year. He said this is making it difficult to comply with unfunded state mandates
Those are rules and regulations by the state but paid on the school district’s dime.
Around 20 years ago, there were only 12 unfunded mandates, now there are ten times as many. In 2014 there were 132 unfunded mandates.
“Not having any funds to do that mandate makes it extremely difficult,” Day said.
State mandates vary from classroom curriculum, training staff members, to testing the school’s water.
However, the Waverly Community Unit School District said these mandates affect each school differently due to their size.
“Something I’ve noticed is whenever they do blanket laws, rules and expectations for the state, it’s harder in the small school districts to accommodate all of those rules and expectations than in the larger school districts,” said Erin Luttrell, a teacher at Waverly High School.
The Waverly School District said not only do they have unfunded state mandates, there are also requirements the state helps pay for, like transportation.
However, superintendent Day said for the last couple of years, the state has not been giving schools their full payments.