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Funding for many metro-east schools is nearing "crisis" status. The situation is getting so bad, that state education officials are pleading with state legislators to increase school funding by more than $800 million.

But the budget proposed by Governor Pat Quinn would cut education spending by more than $300 million.

Many Illinois school districts are already operating on deficits after the state failed to fully fund its obligations for the past two years. Virtually every metro-east district is laying off teachers in anticipation of less state funding next year. Some are cutting sports programs and closing schools.

St. Clair County schools superintendent Susan Sarfaty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "Districts are no longer cutting fat from their budgets — they’re cutting bone." Sarfaty says "there's no more fat to cut."
Published in Local News
Monday, 25 February 2013 01:09

The "Sequester" would hit bi-state area hard

Unless a deal is reached by Friday, massive federal budget cuts will automatically go into effect -- and Missouri and Illinois will feel the pinch. The "sequester" would cut $85 billion from the budget, half from defense and half from domestic programs. As part of their campaign to avoid the automatic spending cuts, the White House Sunday released a state by state breakdown of the impact.

Besides the pain of deep defense cuts which could lay off some 8,000 defense workers, Missouri could lose nearly $12 million in education funding.

In Illinois, the defense cuts would furlough more than 14,000 defense department employees and cut more than $30 million from education.

Democrats have proposed a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, including a tax on income above $1 million and eliminating tax breaks for oil companies.

Republicans have said they will only consider spending cuts.

Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart of Belleville, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the defense cuts would hit the area hard because of the importance of Scott Air Force Base and other military installations to the local economy.

Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus told KSDK-TV that he doesn't believe a deal will be reached before the deadline.
Published in Local News

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