Letters to the Editor

We need to support the 1-cent sales tax

St. Clair County residents have a chance to provide vitally needed support to their local schools by passing the 1-cent countywide sales tax to fund area school districts that will appear on the ballot on April 4.

Currently, a large portion of local school districts’ funding is funneled through the state and federal governments. People in Springfield and Washington D.C. decide how much money local districts get – or if they get any at all. They can cut funds for area schools at any time; if they do, the results could be devastating. Some school districts in St. Clair County receive anywhere from 20 percent to 90 percent of the money they use to pay the bills and keep their schools operating from the state and federal governments.

Illinois, in a budget crisis that seems to never end, has fallen farther behind in the payments it makes to schools. Local leaders don’t know when – or if – they’ll get the money owed to area districts. District leaders don’t know from year-to-year if they’ll have to make cuts to programs. Teachers don’t know if they’ll have jobs next year.

If the 1-cent sales tax is passed, school districts in St. Clair County will receive the additional revenue needed to assure that they can provide the education that the children in our communities need and deserve. The sales tax will go directly to St. Clair County districts without passing through the hands of politicians in Springfield and Washington D.C., safeguarding the funds for our students. Everyone is urged to support the 1-cent sales tax.

Bill Kreeb, Belleville

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