Not having a state budget will cause “devastation” to Illinois schools and communities, says a statewide coalition that is having a news conference Wednesday in Vandalia.
Art Ryan, superintendent of Cahokia District 187, is among the Illinois educators who will attend the news conference in support of school funding. If the state government does not pass a budget, which includes authorizing payments to schools, then the start of school could be compromised at metro-east schools and at schools across the state. Cahokia school officials have said school could start on time, but it does not have enough money in reserve to complete the first semester.
According to Funding Illinois’ Future Coalition, equity for children in poverty has long been its focus, but “our primary messaging will be the devastation not having a FY17 K-12 Budget will bring to all of our communities.”
A legislative session is expected to take place Wednesday in Springfield.
Sale tax meeting
Belleville District 201 is having a community engagement meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Belleville West cafeteria. District leaders will be joined by Millstadt and Wolf Branch administrators, and all will provide an overview of what the penny sales tax in St. Clair County would mean for the county’s schools.
If districts representing more than 50 percent of the student enrollment within the county agree, then a penny sales tax measure would be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election. The added sales tax, by state law, can be used on additions and renovations, security and maintenance, as well as for debt on construction or renovation of buildings.
Superintendent Jeff Dosier, of Belleville District 201, earlier said the sales tax would be “a good opportunity to provide property tax relief.” The high school district anticipates about $2 million in revenue from sales tax, if the measure is put on the ballot and approved by voters.
Washington in June
Electric and telephone cooperatives from across the state send students to “Youth to Washington” event in the nation’s capitol every year. The rural students met with their local congressional representatives and joined more than 1,600 students from across the country in touring the Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, several Smithsonian Museums, Newseum and more. To learn more about the annual program, go to www.youthtour.coop or www.facebook.com/ILYouthtoWashington. This year, these students attended the event from June 10 to June 17:
▪ Trever Johnson, of Bartelso, represented Clinton Electric Cooperative
▪ Nick Mensing, of Breese, represented Clinton Electric Cooperative
▪ Emily Etter, of Freeburg, represented Monroe County Electric Cooperative
▪ Grace Kapelski, of Smithton, represented Monroe County Electric Cooperative
▪ Amelia Schmitz, of Belleville, represented Monroe County Electric Cooperative
Among the teachers hired at the Belleville District 118 board meeting on June 21 was Brittney Van Waes. Van Waes is a familiar face in the district, and will be teaching early childhood classes at Westhaven Elementary School.
Belleville West student Lee Griffin Jr. is going to attend the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. from Jan 18 through 22. Lee is among 1,500 students who will attend the five-day summit, where one of the speakers is Malala Yousafzai, who is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.