East Moline School District to borrow millions more due to lack of state funding

Published: Jul. 31, 2017 at 5:44 AM CDT
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The battle over education funding continues down in Springfield, but now schools across Illinois are just days away from opening for the 2017-2018 school year.

East Moline Supt. Kristin Humphries gave TV-6 a statement ahead Senate Bill 1 (SB1) being sent to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's desk.

"We are days away from school starting, but we still do not have a funding bill. I am very concerned that state dollars will not be flowing by August 10, the day our first payment arrives. For the East Moline School District, that is over $400,000 every 10th and 20th of the month starting in August. At our Board of Education meeting on Monday, we will borrow 1.5 million dollars from Working Cash (the school district savings account) to cover payroll in case we do not have a funding bill. Because the East Moline School District has been underfunded by the State of Illinois for the last eight years, we do not have enough funds to cover expenses for extended period."

For the first time in over two decades, we have a school funding bill that changes the calculus for underserved children in East Moline and across the state. Senate Bill 1 has been passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and only requires the signature of the Governor. Senate Bill 1 does not play zip-code politics and would provide equitable opportunities for all children. It is my hope that leaders in the General Assembly and Governor will work together to come to an agreement that centers on bringing equity to all children. Signing Senate Bill 1 would provide certainty for parents, teachers and our community that school will stay open throughout the year. Even more, it would change the lives of children in East Moline and across the state."

Without a funding bill in place, Illinois school districts won't receive their usual checks.

The Illinois State Board of Educations said the funding plan must be approved by Thursday, August 3 for schools to receive payments on time.

If a plan is approved, the first check should arrive to Illinois schools by Tuesday, August 11.

Coming up on Quad Cities Today, hear from other local districts as they wait to see if they will get funding before their doors open to students.