St. Louis Public Radio News
11:25 am
Wed February 19, 2003

IL Schools Head Says Schools Near Collapse

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois' schools chief told lawmakers Tuesday in Springfield the state's schools are near financial collapse.

Robert Schiller says 61% of the school districts in Illinois currently have budget deficits, and says that could rise to 80% if nothing is done. Schiller says the crisis has districts taking drastic steps.

Schiller says schools need $1.8 billion dollars, and wants lawmakers to cut property taxes while raising income and sales taxes. Governor Blagojevich has said he won't raise those taxes.