Local Superintendents Plead For Funding

OGLE COUNTY - Stateline superintendents are pleading with local legislators for dollars -- saying years of cuts are hurting our kids. Some even writing a letter detailing shameful patterns of school funding.

Superintendent Tom Mahoney analyzes a school funding spread sheet which maps out the bleak picture of state funding for 12 schools in Ogle County. Each number revealing deep cuts in state government funds since 2008. In Mahoney’s Oregon District, state funding has dropped from $3.5 million to less than $2.5 million a year.

tom Mahoney “34% drop in our state aid, in all the school districts in the OCEC Co Op. and it has really impacted the programs we can offer kids.

Superintendent P.J. Caposey has seen Meridian school's budget cut $6.1 million a year TO $5.3 million.  “Every possible area which we could reduce, we have reduced, as a result of not having this funding.”

That's why the Ogle County educational cooperative is reaching out to legislators with this letter. It details how while state revenue has increased, school funding has plummeted, even as legislators continue to raise expectations on educators. “We just wanted to draw the attention of the legislators that this has to change, we cant keep looking to our local homeowners to fund this” said Mahoney

State representative Tom Demmer says that the state is using funding for other programs, and shorting schools. “We have payments that the state has to make to things like the pension program, things like the growth of the Medicaid programs that is crowding out funding for other sources”

Which will mean more crowded classrooms-fewer after school activities - cut sports programs-and a cloudier future for our kids “Someone needs to listen to us, we are doing everything we can to represent our schools, our community and students and we are simply not being funded at an adequate level.” Said Caposey

The Oregon area school districts says they are going to hold on one more year before they increase class sizes and cut more programming, but if they do not receive more funding the school district will definitely have to make some changes

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