Illinois lacks an indoor stadium – or a prison – big enough to hold all of its elected officials.
For decades, the political power brokers have been infatuated with the state’s legions of governmental entities.
At last count, the Illinois Comptroller’s Office said the Land of Lincoln has 8,466 units of local governments.
But In fact, Illinois has so many governments that not everyone can agree on just how many there are.
The Better Government Association puts the number at about 7,000.
And they contend even using that lower number, Illinois has 2,000 — or 40 percent — more units of local government than any other state.
There are a lot of reasons not to like all of these layers of local government.
This multitude of governmental entities have driven Illinois’ property tax burden to the second highest in the United States.
“Illinois has between 850 and 900 school districts. By comparison Florida, a state with a similar population has 100. That means we are paying for a whole lot more school administrators and school superintendents than we should be,” said Alden Loury, senior policy analyst for the BGA.
But it not just about higher taxes.
Youngsters attending many rural school districts lack the diverse course offering they need to be successful in college.
In tiny rural school districts, advanced science, math and foreign language offerings are meager, at best. Consolidating with neighboring districts not only helps local taxpayers but provides higher quality educational opportunities.
But it’s become a trite truism in Illinois that the hardest animal to kill is a school mascot.
Some folks just don’t want their schools to consolidate – even if it’s best for the students and the community as a whole.
Community pride trumps good government.
Read more via Time to Consolidate Local Governments – Illinois News Network.