Blagojevich Visit

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Gov. Rod Blagojevich rallies support for his controversial education plan Wednesday at Belvidere High School.

Belvidere High School students gave Illinois's governor a raucous welcome. They cheered when he talked about bringing more money to schools, and booed his plan to ban sodas in schools, but Blagojevich's main message to students, his goal of creating a new Department of Education that would answer to him.

"The Illinois State Board of Education is a clunky and inefficient bureaucracy," said Gov. Blagojevich speaking before hundreds of students, parents and teachers. The governor says only 46 cents of every dollar for education is making it into Illinois classrooms and he wants to change that, a plan many education leaders support.”

"Consistently there's been one foul up after another and it's squandering teachers' time and taxpayers dollars," says Ann Davis, Illinois teacher federation.

The governor says his plan could free up more than $1.4 b for Illinois schools, but some school leaders say they wanted to hear more details about where that money would come from.

Dr Marshall says, "I think the issue needs some more study."

The governor scored some points with students but they also were looking for more details.

"I see that he does care about education, but I would like to get a clearer view of what he wants to do," says Stark.

More details will likely surface in the coming weeks, as the governor prepares to pitch his plan to the legislature next month. The governor will take his plan to the legislature this spring. He says if it passes through the streamlined department could be set up by 2005.


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