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Letter: Illinois has too many school districts

Illinois’ 852 school districts are a dragon to be slayed. Research has shown that if the state’s school districts were reduced by half there would be an annual operating savings of up to $170 million and the state could save millions more in pension costs.

Illinois has too many school districts, the fourth most among all states, serving too few students with too many superintendents. Fewer superintendents alone could have an annual savings in the millions. Cutting bureaucracy down to size would spare more money for classrooms and help lower property taxes bills.

Administration cost per student in Illinois is $598, in Texas $145, in California $126, and in Florida just $87.

Illinois has 2,324 students per district, Texas 4,527, California 5,459, and Florida 37,958.

The enrollment for Illinois school districts is 1,984,519, in Texas 5,431,910, in California 6,59,760, and in Florida 2,846,857.

Another worthwhile comparison would be the Clark County School District in the state of Nevada which covers 8,000 square miles, and has one superintendent, 15,422 teachers for 324,093 students in 357 schools and has over 40,000 employees.

There is hope. Illinois state Rep. Rita Mayfield (60th District from Waukegan) proposed forming a broad-based efficiency commission with a plan that could reduce the number of Illinois school districts by 25%. Representative Mayfield’s House Bill 7 would create a School District Efficiency Commission, but she will need the support of the General Assembly. Encourage your state senator and representative to support Rep. Mayfield’s school consolidating tax savings efforts.

Bob Anderson

Wonder Lake

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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