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DuPage County Picks Up Salary For School Supt. After State Cut

File Photo (Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

File Photo (Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

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WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — The DuPage County Board is picking up the pay for its regional school superintendent just as Gov. Pat Quinn has asked, but there’s a question whether the practice will become permanent.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Quinn cut about $11 million from the state budget that goes to pay about 40 regional school superintendents around the state. The governor wants local governments to pick up that tab.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

While the state’s 44 regional school superintendents fight the cut in court, DuPage County is paying its superintendent, Darlene Ruscitti, out of county funds. Ruscitti makes $130,000 a year, the Daily Herald reported.

The superintendent serves as the liaison between the state Board of Education and local school districts, and specifically provides certificates for teachers, and training, among other duties.

So far, DuPage has shelled out more than $42,000 toward Ruscitti’s salary. But she tells the Daily Herald she intends to pay back the money to DuPage, should the state eventually come through with her pay.

Since Quinn’s budget cut, regional school superintendents are going without pay for two months and counting. Their average salary is about $100,000 a year.

On Wednesday, the superintendents brought out school buses, a local transportation director, and a newly trained driver to discuss the link between the regional offices and school bus safety. The superintendents say they are required by law to provide the initial training and refresher courses for drivers, as well as background checks, and no one else can do so legally.

A court hearing Thursday was to address the question of whether Gov. Quinn overstepped his authority when he eliminated regional school superintendents.