IL Comptroller Mendoza visits Williamson County pre-K - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL Comptroller Mendoza visits Williamson County pre-K

(Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS) (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)
(Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS) (Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

The Illinois Senate has approved a new system for funding schools that will reduce large disparities between wealthy and poor districts.

Legislators voted 38-13 on Tuesday, Aug. 29 to approve the plan that passed the House on Monday, Aug. 28. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he'll sign the bill quickly to get state money to more than 800 districts that have been waiting for funding for the new school year.

Lawmakers have tried for decades to overhaul a school funding formula that's considered the least equitable in the U.S.

On Tuesday, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza went to visit one the schools in need, Williamson County Pre-K out of Jefferson Elementary School in Marion. 

“Every dollar matters…it really does," said Mendoza. She visited the school as a way to put a “face” on the need for money. She toured the school and had a round table discussion with Jami Hodge, Director of the program, Dr. Keith Oates, Marion Schools Superintendent, and State Representative Dave Severin. 

“We really truly strive to just help people when we hear about a situation that we can intervene in…we can’t always intervene on the time schedule people would like us to, but knowing that you have a problem means that we get engaged and we have to figure out a game plan to get you out of it,” explained Mendoza. 

In June, if Williamson County Pre-K didn’t get its state payment of $1.3 million, then school would have to shut their doors.

Hodge explained just how they pulled it off. 

“It’s been tough, but I think most of our community has understood the situation that we’re in," Hodge said. "Was very relieved when we were able to literally scramble.”

They made more than 200 calls to their representative and comptrollers office and even took to social media. Mendoza’s office heard about their need and responded with a check.

“If we do have to look 500 parents in the eye and say we don’t have a place for you..I'm going to say we did everything we could before we just gave up. And it worked. It worked for us. And we have a great program. And we were able to staff it,” Hodge said.

This also comes as good news not only for kids and parents, but also for school administration and staff. 

Hodge said everyone is happy. “Parents are happy and kids are happy and they have a program for the school year, that’s all that matters.”

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Children & smartphones: What are the risks?

    Children & smartphones: What are the risks?

    Friday, February 23 2018 11:05 PM EST2018-02-24 04:05:38 GMT

    We are probably all guilty of not being about to put down the phone. And with kids getting their hands on them younger and younger, it is raising the concern of the health risks.  A recent survey by common sense media found nearly half of parents worry that their child is addiction to their cell phone. Mom Jackie Collins often worries about the amount of time her kids are spending glued to their phone. For her teenage son, it's almost like a full time job. "50 hours tot...

    We are probably all guilty of not being about to put down the phone. And with kids getting their hands on them younger and younger, it is raising the concern of the health risks.  A recent survey by common sense media found nearly half of parents worry that their child is addiction to their cell phone. Mom Jackie Collins often worries about the amount of time her kids are spending glued to their phone. For her teenage son, it's almost like a full time job. "50 hours tot...

  • Woman dead after car struck tree in Johnson Co., IL

    Woman dead after car struck tree in Johnson Co., IL

    Friday, February 23 2018 4:02 PM EST2018-02-23 21:02:04 GMT
    (Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)
    (Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)

    A 19-year-old woman is dead after her vehicle struck a tree.

    A 19-year-old woman is dead after her vehicle struck a tree.

  • Williamson County, IL crash injures 2

    Williamson County, IL crash injures 2

    Friday, February 23 2018 4:06 PM EST2018-02-23 21:06:11 GMT
    (Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)
    (Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)

    Several people were hurt after a crash in Williamson County, Illinois on Thursday, February 22. 

    Several people were hurt after a crash in Williamson County, Illinois on Thursday, February 22. 

Powered by Frankly