SPRINGFIELD -- The state's regional school superintendents said Thursday they won't appeal a court ruling upholding Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to cut off their salaries, choosing instead to fight for the money in the General Assembly.

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois’ regional school superintendents will not appeal a court ruling that allowed Gov. Pat Quinn to eliminate their salaries from the state budget.


Instead, the regional superintendents will focus on persuading legislators to restore the funding during the upcoming veto session of the General Assembly.


“Our members are working right now to educate legislators about all the services we provide and good work we do for our school system and taxpayers,” said Bob Daiber, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, in a statement. “We are building the support necessary for a responsible solution that restores our state funding.”


Quinn cut $11 million from this year’s state budget that paid the salaries of regional superintendents and their assistants. Quinn said regional superintendents are locally elected officials and should be paid with local money.


  The regional superintendents sued to force the state to pay them despite Quinn’s veto. However, Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt ruled last month that he did not have authority to force the payments.


  “As we said at the time of the ruling, we are disappointed in the outcome and are not dissuaded in our belief that this is an unfair situation and should not continue,” Daiber said. “However, we respect the court’s decision and believe it is time now to focus on the next step.”


  Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, said he is confident lawmakers will act to restore salaries for the regional superintendents during the veto session, which begins Oct. 25.  He expects lawmakers to consider Quinn’s plan to pay regional superintendents from personal property replacement tax money that is distributed to hundreds of local governments around the state.


  “It will take legislative action to do that,” Sullivan said.  “If there is not sentiment to do that, then they’ll want to do an override. We’ll come up with the money to pay for them.”


  Sullivan said he’s heard from a few of the local governments in his district that receive personal property replacement tax funds.  He said their concern is that once the funds are tapped for something like regional superintendent salaries, other expenses could follow, further diminishing the amount available to local governments.


Regional superintendents and their assistants haven’t been paid by the state since July 1.  In some cases, including Sangamon County, county governments have provided financial assistance to the regional superintendents until the issue is resolved at the state level.


  Doug Finke can be reached at (217) 788-1527.