Four New Schools Closed

September 16, 2003

As the new school year starts, the Elgin school district, the second largest in Illinois, is keeping 4 brand new schools closed, citing "lack of funding."

The failure to open these buildings, including 3 elementary and 1 middle school, means that 3,000 students will be assigned to already overcrowded facilities. Class sizes throughout the district will increase from around 23/class to 30 or more.

The Elgin district is planning to slash $40 million from this year's budget and has already cut nearly 600 teaching jobs.

State and local officials say that other school districts will soon face similar situations as public education throughout Illinois is drastically underfunded.

In fact, all across the country, the public schools are in desperate financial difficulties because the federal and state government refuse to make the needed investments. In 2000, the National Educational Association estimated that $322 billion was immediately needed just to repaid and modernize our country's schools and equip them with modern educational technology. The National Council of State Legislatures admits that another $35 billion/year is needed for staffing and other expenses just to bring schools up to standards legislated by the government itself.

The results of this systematic underfunding include impossibly large class sizes, curriculum cutbacks, crumbling buildings, lack of vital educational materials, underpaid teachers, etc. In turn, this means that the youth of our country, especially working class and minority children, are denied their right to a modern education.