By Whitney Jones, Illinois Public Radio
Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois House wants to give struggling schools a chance at saving money by having students in class only four days a week.
The measure advanced easily to the state Senate. The sponsor, Republican Bill Black, said it would require schools that drop a day to have longer hours when school is in session.
But opponents including Democrat Monique Davis of Chicago said the state should not force students and their families to deal with the state's money problems.
"I don't believe that children should be told 'you can stay home alone for a full day, and take care of yourselves, take care of your little brothers, take care of your little sisters because the state can no longer afford to educate you,;" Davis said.
Under the proposal, school districts interested in a four-day week would have to hold public hearings and get approval from the state.
Public schools in Illinois face 1.3 billion dollars in cuts next school year.
Governor Pat Quinn is suggesting lawmakers approve a tax increase to plug that hole.