School districts across the state have been facing funding cuts for several years now, and the trend continues into this fiscal year.
The Clinton School District recently received word their general fund will be cut 5% this year. Clinton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the payments are made in equal installments throughout the year, however, the final payment in late June of next year will not be made.
[audio:clintonbudget1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]
Dr. Holmes says with the announced cut, the budget will be in the same place it was last year. He adds he looks at the $75-thousand as two teachers salaries, which is a pretty significant cut, considering the district was not expecting it.
The districts transportation fund also took a hit recently as well. This hit much more significant than the general state aid fund cut. Dr. Holmes explains there is hope legislators could put some of that money back into the transportation fund, however, he is not counting on it.
[audio:clintonbudget2.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]
Gov. Pat Quinn cut the funding to schools' transportation funds citing it is the parents of the districts responsibility to get their kids to school. Dr. Holmes takes exception to that and says the state has an obligation to help in transporting kids to school.
[audio:clintonbudget3.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]
Dr. Holmes believes if the state is going to help fund education, then transportation is a part of that. Dr. Holmes also stresses the district relies on the state to help fund many areas, however, he says compared to other districts they are not as reliant on the state, so they will be able to continue to provide transportation to the students of the district.