Schools send out letters letting parents know the school year uncertain

Published: Jun. 6, 2016 at 9:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2016 at 9:14 PM CDT
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WOLF LAKE, IL (KFVS) - Parents in some school districts across Illinois are getting unpleasant news in their mailboxes.

Parents in Shawnee Community Unit School District #84 in Wolf Lake, Illinois received letters last week alerting them that the budget impasse in Springfield is forcing many districts to face dire consequences.

The letter, signed by school superintendent Shelly Clover-Hill reads in part:

"The district has fund reserves that will allow the opening of school and should sustain the district throughout the first semester."

Regional Superintendent Donna Boros represents Alexander, Jackson, Perry, Pulaski and Union counties. Boros said Shawnee is not the only district mailing letters to parents.

Elverado CUSD #196 in Elkville sent letters to parents more than a month ago cautioning the district may not be able to remain open for longer than 30 days without a state budget.

Elverado superintendent Kevin Spain said that that 30 day time span will be revised because the district got a bit of a break. Spain said a grant payment due date was pushed back which will free up additional funding.

Boros said for the most part school don't know how long they can keep their doors open, and many are turning to lines of credit from banks to buy more time as the budget impasse continues.

Lawmakers are due back in Springfield on Wednesday, and Regional Superintendent of Schools Matt Donkin, who serves Franklin, Johnson, Massac and Williamson county schools, said there is hope that legislators will at least pass a stop-gap measure to offer some relief.

"It's not just about school starting," said Donkin. "This is when you order your supplies and plan for next year. All of those things need to happen and we're sitting here in limbo."

He said the school needs to be able to "complete hiring to fill positions, order not only instructional supplies, but also food and other items, and make final plans for next year."

Donkin said the bottom line is schools need to know how much money they will get so they can plan. He said the budget impasse has left a great many families and children up in the air.

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