Quick Hit Aricka Flowers Friday July 29th, 2011, 4:42pm

Start Of School Year In Jeopardy In IL As Teachers Descend Upon D.C.

The state's budget problems may soon affect when Illinois children go back to school, according to reports.

Illinois school regional superintendents have been working without pay since the beginning of the month and say they can only guarantee one more week of work under the current conditions. 

Gov. Pat Quinn got rid of the $11 million funding to pay for the regional education offices because he wanted localities to cover the expense. But local communities have not come up with the dough. And schools will have a hard time getting started this fall without the superintendents because they are the only ones with the authority to sign off on things like school permits, training for new bus drivers, new teacher certifications, and much more. The superintendents are set to meet in Springfield on Wednesday to figure out their next steps.

"If this work isn't done by the regional offices of education, the repercussions that occur in school districts are unforeseen at this time, because this has never happened," Madison County Regional Superintendent Bob Daiber told Illinois Statehouse News.

Meanwhile, educators and community advocates have descended upon the nation's capitol for the four-day Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action rally. The attendees are calling for the end of certain education reforms, like No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top initiative.The organizers were invited to meet with officials from the Department of Education today, but they declined, offering the following statement:

We sincerely appreciate the interest of the White House in the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action. We’d be pleased to host any White House or Department of Education personnel on the Ellipse on Saturday so they can hear firsthand what teachers, students, parents and community members from around the country have to say about public education. Thousands of concerned citizens will be sharing their experiences and their thoughts on the future of our schools. July 30th is your opportunity to listen to us. After the March, we will be open to meeting with White House or Department of Education leaders to further discuss our specific proposals.

As all the politicking takes place, the nation's children suffer. Here's a sobering look at the state of education in America.


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