Gov. Quinn: Let’s Spend More on Fewer Schools

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) –  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn proposed a slight increase in education spending Wednesday but wants to save state money by pushing school consolidation and eliminating regional education offices, two ideas that have gone down in flames over the years.

Quinn resurrected the idea of consolidation, which has caused ll feelings since the days of the one-room schoolhouse, but didn’t say how much might be saved.

His chief of staff, Jack Lavin, said he number of districts in Illinois –now 868 — “should be down
significantly.”

The Democratic governor also proposed cutting a $14 million subsidy to 45 regional offices of education, which conduct training and special schools, and reducing by $95 million the amount the state pays to bus students to the classroom.

Overall state support for elementary and secondary education would climb 3.2 percent to $7.2 billion, still 1 percent lower than in 2009-2010 school year.

Higher education would see just a slight increase in money, 1.2 percent to $2.15 billion.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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