Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quinn pushes school mergers

More than two-thirds of Illinois’ school districts should be eliminated by merging them into other districts in a quest to save the cost of paying their superintendents, Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday.

Quinn, in his budget address, called for cutting the state’s 868 school districts by 600, saying having fewer, larger districts would save taxpayers $100 million in salaries that would then go back into the classrooms.

In 2009, Community High School District 94 in West Chicago, along with its three elementary school feeder districts, commissioned a study that showed the individual districts performed better financially and academically than they would if merged.

Yet, University of Illinois Springfield Professor William H. Phillips, a leading authority on school consolidation who performed the study, said at the time it was the first of 38 studies he’s done on consolidation that showed such results.

Phillips was mentioned in a February 17, 2011, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article