Future of IL high school in state hands, could affect upcoming s - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Future of IL high school in state hands, could affect upcoming school year

(WFIE) (WFIE)
FAIRFIELD, IL (WFIE) -

The state of Illinois recently passed a budget after years without one, but school officials at Fairfield Community High School said the district has yet to receive General State Aid which accounts for more than half of the school's revenue. 

"We currently have about $1.4 million in reserves that would take us through December 22 of this year," Fairfield Community High School Superintendent President Jill Fulkerson said. "Once those reserves are gone, they are gone."

The first payment of around $82,000 was supposed to be available on Thursday, but that's not happening. The district normally receives two payments a month.

"It's very frustrating because as I have said before I feel like the legislatures have used our students and our children as pawns in this political budget mess that Illinois has been in, in the last three years," Fulkerson said. "That's very unfair, public education should be a right for all of our students in Illinois."

If no resolution is reached, the school has three options:

  • Start school and spend down reserves, which would likely put FCHS on a financial waiting list. 
  • Not start at all
  • Start school making drastic cuts to things like sports and other extra-curricular activities.

That doesn't sit well with one FCHS parent and coach. 

"There is not a whole lot of stuff for the kids to do. Sports are a big outlet for them. A lot of them have put a lot of time into sports. It would change our way of life around here definitely," Fairfield HS Parent and Coach Chet Snyder said.  

For now, it's a waiting game. 

"I just hope that the politicians will come through for us and put something into place so that every school can begin on time," Fulkerson said. 

Officials said students are going back to school on August 21, but the board could decide not to use reserve money and hold off until the legislature makes a decision. 

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