SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said that the state has "too many" school districts and proposed to significantly reduce the number of them.
"Illinois currently has 868 school districts, and our fiscal reality demands consolidation," Quinn said recently in his fiscal year 2012 budget address to the state General Assembly. "Consolidation lowers administrative overhead, improves efficiency and will save taxpayers $100 million."
The governor proposed the formation of a commission to review the number of school districts. According to OgleCountyNews.com, Quinn has called for the number of districts to be reduced to around 300.
The news source also reported that Quinn has announced cuts to state transportation funding for school districts. Both developments were causes of concern for local superintendents.
“This is the irony in the proposal — it would appear that consolidation would increase our transportation costs even though the governor decreased funding for transportation,” Tom Mahoney, superintendent of Oregon (Ill.) Community Unit School District 220, told OgleCountyNews.com. “Remember, pupil transportation is a state mandate, and, as such, consolidated districts must provide the transportation.”