Superintendents sue over education funding
The Illinois State Board of Education calculates schools should receive $7.2 billion statewide, based on a new funding formula passed by lawmakers last year.
Nokomis Community School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr is one of more than 20 superintendents across the state suing Governor Rauner and the state, after only $350 million has been allocated for next school year.
Dr. Doerr said the new evidence-based funding model calculates the money needed to bring districts across the state up to common core standards.
"And that's what we're asking for, is to please fully fund education to meet guidelines that you, as the State of Illinois, have set for public school kids," Dr. Doerr said.
Nokomis Community School District is set to receive just under $160,000 of the $350 million state-wide education funding. Dr. Doerr said there are several improvements schools across the state could make with increased funding.
"Smaller classrooms, smaller class sizes, instructional coaches, interventionists, specialized teachers, special education, and many other programs that we need to meet the needs of our students,” Dr. Doerr said.
Parents said education funding fears began for them last year, with talks of cancelling school due to the budget impasse.
"It was kind of worrisome there for a while because I want my kids to have a good education and go to college, something I didn't get to do,” Nokomis parent Donald Ryan said. “So it just makes me worry about their future all in all."
Ryan has two children in Nokomis schools, one with a learning disability. Ryan said he believes the district could definitely use more resources.
“It seems like everybody's worried about up north, but there's other kids down south that don't get help,” Ryan said. “So hopefully he will at least bring some at least get some attention down here to help them.”
To see the Illinois State Board of Education evidence-based funding distribution calculation, click here.