Governor Pat Quinn delivers his budget address in a few weeks, and one local superintendent believes the Governor has some major changes in store for downstate school districts.
Monticello Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman speculates the Governor will try to cut off transportation funds and begin forcing school districts to begin paying into their teacher's pension funds. Dr. Zimmerman says the state is forcing the state's financial issues onto the tax payers.
Dr. Zimmerman explains two options that could happen would be extending out the distance schools are by law having to transport. He also believes the state could completely cut transportation funding altogether and force districts to raise their property taxes to pay for transportation.
In the past the state has not been able to make payments into teachers pension systems. Dr. Zimmerman explains the teachers pay a portion of their retirement fund, the school pays a portion and the state pays a portion. He says since the state wasn't able to they again are seeking ways to not have to make those payments.
Part of the funding for schools comes from current property taxes. With what would become unbalanced funding because of property tax rates, Dr. Zimmerman feels it is all about where you live, which he feels shouldn't determine the type of education your children receive. But if the state continues to force taxes to be the funding source of schools budgets, he says that is exactly what will happen.