Illinois education leaders look forward to the school year

Published: Jul. 6, 2016 at 10:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2016 at 12:53 AM CDT
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - School leaders in southern Illinois are breathing easier after last week's stopgap budget agreement from lawmakers.

Some were worried they would only be open for a couple of days before having to close without funding.

Regional Superintendent of schools Matt Donkin for Franklin, Johnson, Massac, and Williamson Counties in southern Illinois has a message for parents going into the new school year.

Donkin advises school leaders to plan on the side of caution and not on the long term.

"School leaders are going to be doing across southern Illinois kind of taking a gauge of the field and figure out what have we missed out on? What can we sure of now? But again, don't make any great long term plans because we know the state has a lot of decisions to make going forward," he said.

Some southern Illinois teachers said they are gearing up for the upcoming school year and getting their plans ready.

"The truth is, I mean if you're a teacher that loves what you're doing the focus is always the kids," Sesser-Valier High School teacher Angela Bartoni said..

Bartoni said she would do anything for her students, even if it meant working for free.

"I mean it doesn't really matter. I do say a lot of times I would come to work even if I didn't get paid just because I really love it, you know, so as long as the focus is on the kids."

For Frankfort Intermediate School teacher Susan Hood, getting back to school is what she looks forward to the most.

"Just seeing all of the kids and their smiles and they're always happy to be back to school," Hood said

Donkin said before the stopgap passed funding for Illinois schools people were worried about if they could even open doors for the upcoming year.

"We were concerned [if] we were going to be able to start school or not in many districts across southern Illinois and across my region," he said.

Donkin said the temporary funding agreement took care of kindergarten through 12th grade education and is glad schools are getting the funding.

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