While the state of Illinois has passed a budget, the mechanism to fund public schools has not been put in place.
That means money schools get from the state will not be dispersed like they should.
Without that money, some schools can only last a few months before they would no longer be able to operate.
The Fairfield Community High School District #225 called a special meeting to discuss this issue.
“It’s a wide spread issue throughout the state and it’s a very serious situation,” said Chris Miller, school board District #225 president.
It’s a mess, school officials could not avoid.
“We have to look at it from the parent’s point of view, the students point of view,” said Miller. “And also the districts financial point of view because we need to keep the district sound.”
Now, they’re the ones faced to make a tough decision days before school is set to start.
“Legislators are not agreeing that Senate Bill 1 is a good tool,” said Jill Fulkerson, Fairfield Community High School District #225 superintendent. “So that’s where the frustrating comes, is we’re waiting until now to come up with a solution when we’re only a few day before the start of school.”
SB1 deals with school funding. Fairfield Community High School receives 57 percent of its funding through the state.
If lawmakers can not approve a funding mechanism, school officials will have three options:
- Start school and spend down their $1.4 million reserve which would keep kids in school for 136 days until December 22nd.
- Start school and make drastic cuts to sports and extra curricular activities.
- They could not start school.
The next eight days are crucial. School officials are not optimistic their state lawmakers will get a funding mechanism passed.
By August 16th, they have to make the tough choice on what the future of the school year looks like if they don’t get the $1.8 million of state aid for the school year.
But they’re not panicking, just yet.
“We will continue to prepare to start school on August the 17th,” said Fulkerson. “And we will simply hope that the legislatures come to some sort of resolution for this, I mean it’s a necessity.”
School officials are urging parents to contact their state legislators about the issue. Anyone with questions can call the Fairfield Community High School District #225 at (618) 842-2649