E. St. Louis, Casino Pledge Aid for Schools

Article excerpt

The city of East St. Louis and the Casino Queen will give money to East St. Louis School District 189 to help the district out of its worst crisis in years, local government officials said Thursday.

The city and the gambling boat will turn over to the School Board today letters of intent to give between $250,000 and $350,000 to the schools, said Karen Cason, who is a city councilwoman, and Illinois state Rep. Wyvetter Younge, D-East St. Louis. The aid would provide short-term relief to the district, which has a multimillion-dollar deficit, officials said.

Cason said the city council members and mayor had agreed unanimously to give some revenue from the city's Tax Increment Financing fund. They will donate between $100,000 and $200,000, she said. The tax money comes from the Casino Queen and other private companies in special development districts.

In addition, Cason said, the Casino Queen will donate about $150,000.

The state Board of Education has demanded that the school district correct the disastrous conditions in the schools this year. …