Local school districts get new state funding - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local school districts get new state funding

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WSIL -- This week public school districts will get $350-million dollars from the Illinois State Comptroller. The neediest school districts in the state get money first. 

Out of more than 850 districts state wide, Vienna High School is the 5th most poorly funded. 

"We actually received the first of six payments Wednesday. So the high school district alone will be receiving approx $240,000 dollars of tier money before June 30th," said Stafford. 

Superintendent Josh Stafford says, according to the formula, the district is operating at 52 percent adequacy. Meaning they only have a little over half what they need in order to provide an adequate education. Stafford says that $240,000 headed their way doesn't solve all their problems. 

"It doesn't take us to 100% percent funding adequacy. It's a road to recovery that's going to be built over about the next ten years," said Stafford. 

West Frankfort Schools Superintendent, Matt Donkin, says they haven't received their funding just yet, but believe it'll be in their account Thursday. He's thankful the money is on its way and is crossing his fingers this revenue will be dependable going forward so they can make plans for next year. 

"I don't know that anybody in public service right now breathes a sign of relief on anything. Its maybe wipes the brow and then you plunge right back on it," said Donkin.

Donkin says they'll use the money to get back up to speed on all areas of education and use the new funding to keep improving.

Stafford says his district plans to use the money to hire several instructors and get more individualized attention for their students. 

"Right now we have classrooms that have over 30 students in classrooms and that's not acceptable. That's not an ideal educational environment to put one teacher in a room with 30 students," said Stafford. 

All six payments to the school districts need to be in by June 30th. Donkin says these funds also help the local economy, buy paying for staff, which shop at local stores. 

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