2 county schools added to financial watch list

Two McHenry County school districts are on the state’s financial watch list because of their poor finances.

Alden-Hebron District 19 and Cary District 26 were two of 22 districts from across the state to make the list. Of the two, District 26 scored the worst, finishing fifth from the bottom for the entire state.

“It’s cold comfort, how many school districts are below you when you are in this bad of a situation,” District 26 board president Chris Spoerl said.

The Illinois State Board of Education released the financial profiles of all of the state districts Wednesday.

District 155 in Crystal Lake is in the best financial condition in McHenry County, according to the data.

Spoerl said he was not surprised by District 26 appearing on the watch list, noting that it was not the first time.

On Monday, District 26 dismissed about 75 teachers. So far District 26 has made about $5.4 million in budget cuts.

Spoerl said that district officials had been in contact with representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education about the district’s fiscal health.

“The fact of the matter is that we have been working with the state board, letting them know what we are doing,” Spoerl said.

Spoerl said that District 26 had to address its budget problems.

For example, he said even with the cuts, the district would not pay off its short-term loans until October, and the district would have to take out new loans in November.