Principal calls a donation ‘essential’ because of ‘state funding crisis’

A local principal says a $2,000 donation is going to be “essential” to provide materials and supplies for students and staff in the upcoming school year.

As part of its grand opening, Collinsville’s new Walmart Neighborhood Market donated the money to Caseyville Elementary School.

“Our staff members will be able to acquire items to create meaningful, engaging lessons for our students,” Principal Kevin Robinson stated in a post to the school district’s Facebook page. “These funds are essential to our school because of the school funding crisis in the state of Illinois.”

State leaders have approved a spending plan, but they haven’t decided on a school funding formula, which is how general state aid would be distributed to schools across the state. General state aid is based primarily on the local property wealth within each school district.

A majority of Caseyville Elementary’s students — more than 80 percent — come from families that are considered low-income, state data shows. The school district, Collinsville Unit 10, relies on the state for about 35 percent of its revenue.

The General Assembly approved a formula in May through Senate Bill 1. On Tuesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner used an amendatory veto to strip millions of dollar for Chicago Public Schools from the legislation.

The bill will return to the Legislature, where three-fifths of lawmakers in both chambers must either approve or override Rauner’s changes. If neither chamber can muster the votes, the legislation dies.

Senate Bill 1 would have sent almost $1.5 million more per year to Unit 10. Rauner contends that without the money for Chicago pensions, Collinsville schools could get nearly $2.5 million from the state.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

The Associated Press contributed to this report.