School districts forced to consider dooms day plans thanks to state budget impasse

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ELGIN, Ill. --   The budget battle is causing a financial crisis when it comes to funding education here in Illinois.

Experts say that public school kids are getting caught in the middle of the political battle between the two parties.

School districts are being forced to come up with doomsday plans.

Tony Sanders is the CEO of Elgin's U-46 school district. With an enrollment of 40,000 students at 56 schools, it is the second largest in the state next to CPS.

If a budget isn't passed by July 1st, all the funding stops and then come more cuts to hiring and more.

“We are looking now at draining our pools, cutting out after school busing activities just so we can get as much gas out of our tank as we can,” Sanders said.

U-46 would run out of money now in reserve by December and then be forced to take on high interest, short-term loans and or raise taxes just to keep classes going and pay teachers and staff.

Closing completely is a long shot but possible.

U-46 gets $150 million in funding per year but is already owed $24 million by the state.

Sanders says he has a pile of applications and resumes he can't do anything with until a budget is passed and stopgap measures won't work he says.

But at the state level, hundreds of jobs have been filled in the last three months alone, including at the Department of Education at six-figure salaries.

“It's everybody's fault. It's the legislatures fault. It's the governor's fault and it's our fault for not putting pressure on them to come up with a budget,” Sanders said. “We all need to be putting pressure on Springfield for lack of a budget.”


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