Illinois schools affected by budget delays - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois schools affected by budget delays

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

The Illinois Senate is putting the brakes on a compromise budget plan but a key Democrat said there could still be a floor vote this week.

Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Don Harmon said some members weren't ready to vote on the massive proposal designed to break a nearly two-year budget deadlock with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The plan comprises 13 pieces of legislation, including an income-tax increase, property-tax freeze and cost-saving overhaul of the state pension system.

Giant City Schools among many other southern Illinois schools who are hoping for an end to the stalemate. Leaders say it's hard to put the kids and their education first when there is less money in their budget. 

Giant City Superintendent, Belinda Hill, said she took steps to ensure that school could stay open. Some of the effects included reducing staff which makes for a larger student population in the classroom, but Hill said the children are still getting the same quality of education, it’s just that teachers have to work extra hard and take on extra duties.

"I think for Illinois schools, especially Southern Illinois schools, the lack of budget stability is really affecting our entire school program from the top down, so we really need our leg to really support that stability and get our other programs back in working order," Hill explained.

Hill, who has been the superintendent for eight years, said it's hard to keep the "best quality" in school if teachers don't know if they will have a job.

She concluded that the booster club and parent teacher organizations have really dug in to help support, especially with extracurricular activities, which is typically the first list item taken off the budget.

“[We] definitely had people in a panic about what happens with the education of their children," Hill said. "It’s the very most important thing we can do for the future of our kids. So I hate that this situation goes on because I think Illinois is a great state, but we have to get it together.”

School officials say they need just a little more help from the government to continue to provide the best education to students.  

Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Don Harmon said leaders still hope to have floor votes on Wednesday. Lemont Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno set a Feb. 1 deadline for Senate action.

Republican state Sen. Chris Nybo of Elmhurst called the package "fluid" and said it still needs discussion and negotiation.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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