Governor finally releases state funds for school districts

Local school officials received word late last week that state school aid payments for the final month of the fiscal year will be made.

The decision by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to release about $390 million in General State Aid payments to the states school districts comes after he came under increasing pressure from education officials and the media.

For the past several weeks, Blagojevich had indicated that he would address the state budget deficit by withholding the last two semi-monthly payments of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

For the Vandalia district, that wouldve meant a funding shortfall of about $604,000, according to Superintendent Rich Well.

Its the best news weve received in a long time, Well said.

But theres still a little apprehension until we have the money in hand.

He said the payments usually come on the first and 15th of the month.

It looks like we dodged the bullet this time, Well said. It certainly will make our year go smoother.

‘I just hope this (threats of funding reductions) doesnt become an every-year thing.

He said the state funding will allow the district to continue to fund current programs and absorb rising prices.

As a district, were dealing with all the same price increases the public is.

‘Then, to throw in a loss of revenue, thats not a very good combination,’ Well said.

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