Regional Superintendents continue battle for paychecks - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Regional Superintendents continue battle for paychecks

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

BENTON, IL (KFVS)-Regional Superintendents say that a recent ruling by a Sagamon County judge to not overrule Governor Pat Quinn's veto of regional superintendent's pay does not end the fight.

The Circuit Judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit John Schmidt, ruled that the court does not have the reverse the governor's decision. But the judge did rule that the governor has the power to veto the salaries of state officials and suspend operations of all the State's departments.

"The judge still at least in his commentary indicated that we were state officials, which we have argued all along," said Matt Donkin Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education #21.

"Regional Superintendents of Schools are a state office. We do a lot of the state's functions. And work with the educational bureaucracy at the State Board of Education to make sure schools are running efficiently, effectively and safely."

But, Governor Quinn has been quoted as saying the regional superintendents are a, "questionable level of bureaucracy." And he vetoed their pay on June 30th.

Yet on August 21st the governor signed SB 2170 which takes the county boards out of the equation when voters approve a sales tax increase for school construction.

And placing the duties now in the hands of the regional superintendents of schools offices. They must now certify resolutions of school districts boards, and place the measures on the ballot.

Donkin says adding yet another state required duty on him and the other 43 regional superintendents without getting paid.

"And the state is also a part of that three-legged stool if you were of supporting these offices. Because we carry out so many duties as part of the regional delivery system of the State Board of Education," said Donkin.

"And there are other states who have a regional delivery system that is our size, but they are not elected. And maybe that is where the concern is at now because the state doesn't appoint them, the state can't control them. It is local elected officials speaking for the our local residents saying, hey this is what we need in our area."

Now what the regional superintendents need is a favorable vote of 3/5ths vote in both chambers of the legislature during the upcoming veto-session in October, to override the governor's veto, and have their pay reinstated.



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