Cairo Schools Facing Financial Emergency

Cairo Schools Facing Financial Emergency
By: Kate Scott


Cairo school officials are asking the state of Illinois to help bail them out of a budget crisis.

Superintendent Robert Isom says the district is more than $800,000 dollars in debt, and doesn't have enough money to finish the current school year.  “The district has been deficit spending for several years,” Isom explains.  “Over that period of time and probably before then, we've borrowed, we've made transfers, we’ve cut staff, and we’ve done what we can. We're at a point now that without some external assistance, we won't be able to make it.”

Isom is asking the Illinois State Board of Education to take over the district's financial records, by sending in a Financial Oversight Panel.  If that happens, the Cairo School District would also become eligible for more than a million dollars in state grants and loans, which would help get the district back on track.  If the state decides not to help, the future of Cairo schools will be up in the air.  “If we can’t pay our obligations, then obviously we won’t get services,” says Isom.  “And if we can’t obtain services, then we can’t provide for our students.”

Dr. Isom will present the district’s financial problems to the Illinois Board of Education on Thursday morning, via teleconference.  Stay tuned to Heartland News for the latest information.