Cahokia School Superintendent Art Ryan is about to retire, which means he and his mission to protect his students are no longer at the mercy of state leaders. He can freely speak his mind, and he recently did.
It’s just too bad those in Springfield seem immune to shame.
“No one wants to say, ‘Here’s the problem and the only way to address this is to fix the taxes, or do this, or cut this program,’ because they all have constituents and they’re afraid they’re not going to get re-elected,” Ryan said during a St. Louis Public Radio forum recently at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
He said the state shorted his district $14 million since 2011. There are 80 fewer employees in the district. Classes have 28 to 30 students. Property taxes have been driven up, yet that $9 million is only 10 percent of the district’s budget.
He dropped it all squarely at the feet of Springfield politicians.
“In days gone by, people would talk with each other. They were willing to compromise to make agreements, and now the political mood is ‘I have to win and someone else has to die,’” Ryan said.
And he pointed out that Illinois residents will get what they deserve as long as they fail to pay attention and hold state politicians accountable.
“I think it’s going to take the population of the state contacting their local legislators demanding they create an environment of cooperation and working together and solving problems, and we’re no longer going to stand for you guys not doing things.”
Preach it, Brother Ryan. Amen.