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News

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2006


Superintendent Dunn calls for funding for Joliet school construction projects
Governor Blagojevich is seeking $500 million for construction at Illinois public schools

Joliet, Ill. - State School Superintendent Randy Dunn visited today with Joliet Public Schools District 86 District Superintendent Phyllis Wilson as well as the board of school inspectors, local legislators and other community leaders to discuss construction projects in the Joliet school district.

"As part of their 2001 application for state funding, Joliet school leaders envisioned funding to be used for the construction of two elementary schools and five additions to existing buildings," Dunn said. "As we can see here in Joliet, many of those needs have not been met."

The Joliet school district is still waiting for $26.7 million in state funding originally promised in 2002. The local share of the projects was originally projected to be $10.4 million.

Earlier this month 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.

"There are 975 students here at Hufford Junior High School. And as you can see, the school is dependent on two modular buildings to hold four classrooms of students. This is a growing area, thus this situation and the need for classroom space is likely to grow more serious," Dunn said. "And the costs of construction continue to rise, so every day of delay is costly."

"I commend the district educators for doing what they can with these facilities, but it's clear that it is time for the state to step up and do its part with regard to capital funding for school construction," he said.

"If we're going to give our children the education they deserve, we need to do better."

 

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