SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – An Illinois state lawmaker has a proposal for state education officials who want more money for alternative schools: get another job.
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, wants to eliminate funding for the Illinois State Board of Education and the state superintendent of schools office.
“Why not go to the state board and the state superintendent’s office and say, quite frankly, with (local) superintendents and regional offices of education, we don’t need you,” Brady said.
The state superintendent’s office employs 447 people, while board of education members are volunteer but get travel and other reimbursements. Brady says the move would save the state $23 million in general revenue funding, nearly 10 times what educators want restored in the state budget to avoid cuts to alternative schools.
State education officials said during a meeting in Normal last week they had planned to ask lawmakers for an additional $239,000 to restore alternative school funding to last year’s level. Brady says local and regional superintendents can handle the extra workload and he suspects they would accept that for the sake of the children in alternative schools.
Similar proposals have gone nowhere in the past, but Brady says the proposal could still do some good.
“Even if I don’t get legislation passed, hopefully I can continue to educate people throughout the state and drive home the point, when you say there’s no money for these things, sometimes there is money. You have look at a way to where you are going to get the money from,” Brady said.