DONGOLA, IL (KFVS) - Students at one southern Illinois school will no longer be offered art classes beginning in the fall of 2016, which administration says is a by-product of an unfunded state mandate.
Dongola Schools Superintendent said the change was mainly an effect of Senate Bill 0100, which explains a public school must adapt to new standards for how a student is punished for misbehavior.
Proponents say the bill, signed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in late 2015, seeks to protect students from unnecessary punishment.
Dongola Superintendent Paige Maginel said the school can't afford new hires to accommodate the new regulations, which is why they had to look for someone from within.
Maginel said the current art teacher will be charged with upgrading Dongola's disciplinary system to those new standards, thereby sacrificing half of her current responsibilities: teaching high school level art.
Lifetime Dongola resident and parent Brad Zeszhki graduated from the small school and said he believes the lost art classes will be missed.
"At these public schools, the kids are involved." Zeshki said. "This is our future. The kids that are going through these halls and classes are the ones that are going to be running this state and country someday. Those classes give them the creativity they need to be creative and problem solve."
Maginel said on Wednesday the school was already projected to be over budget in the fall of 2016, which is when the new regulations will take effect.
Elementary level classes will not be affected in Dongola.
Dongola High School teaches 67 students.