Superintendent Dunn calls for funding for Joliet school
Governor Blagojevich is seeking $500
million for construction at Illinois public schools
Joliet, Ill. - State School Superintendent Randy Dunn
visited today with Joliet Public Schools District 86 District
Superintendent Phyllis Wilson as well as the board of
school inspectors, local legislators and other community
leaders to discuss construction projects in the Joliet
"As part of their 2001 application for state funding,
Joliet school leaders envisioned funding to be used for
the construction of two elementary schools and five additions
to existing buildings," Dunn said. "As we can
see here in Joliet, many of those needs have not been
The Joliet school district is still waiting for $26.7
million in state funding originally promised in 2002.
The local share of the projects was originally projected
to be $10.4 million.
Earlier this month in his State of the State address,
Governor Rod Blagojevich renewed his commitment to a variety
of projects, including school construction.
In all, the governor has called for $500 million for
school construction projects, including:
- $150 million for 24 school districts which received
state commitments in FY02 that are still unfunded
- $350 million to be divided between some of the 275
school districts with grant applications on file at
the Illinois School Board of Education based on district
needs and available matching funds.
"There are 975 students here at Hufford Junior High
School. And as you can see, the school is dependent on
two modular buildings to hold four classrooms of students.
This is a growing area, thus this situation and the need
for classroom space is likely to grow more serious,"
Dunn said. "And the costs of construction continue
to rise, so every day of delay is costly."
"I commend the district educators for doing what
they can with these facilities, but it's clear that it
is time for the state to step up and do its part with
regard to capital funding for school construction,"
"If we're going to give our children the education
they deserve, we need to do better."