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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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For Immediate Release
February 2, 2006

State School Superintendent Randy Dunn, Stewardson-Strasburg officials call for state commitment to local school construction

STRASBURG, Ill. – State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn met with Stewardson-Strasburg leaders today about the need for capital funding for their educational facilities.

“In March 2002, the people of the communities served by this school district stepped up to the plate and approved a referendum to support remodeling and modernization projects at this school,” Dunn said. “Sadly, the state has not stepped up and met its obligation.”

“The facilities here are outdated, including electrical wiring that doesn’t support modern technology demands, an outdated sewer system and a patched roof. The school leaders, in desperation, have resorted to using closets for classroom space. The children of these communities deserve better,” Dunn said.

Local school leaders have emphasized that the local money approved in March 2002 by referendum will disappear in 2007 when the referendum expires, if the state share of the money doesn’t come through.

The Stewardson-Strasburg school district was ranked at #3 in a 2002 report which prioritized state school construction needs. At that time, the state share of the school construction project was estimated to be $2.046 million, while the local share was estimated at $1.127 million.

“And we all know that construction costs continue to rise, so every day of delay is costly,” Dunn added.

In January in his State of the State address, Governor Rod Blagojevich renewed his commitment to a variety of projects, including school construction.

In all, the governor has called for $500 million for school construction projects, including:

  • $150 million for 24 school districts which received state commitments in FY02 that are still unfunded
  • $350 million to be divided between some of the 275 school districts with grant applications on file at the Illinois School Board of Education based on district needs and available matching funds.

 

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777