They nearly won a state boys basketball title this year, but next year the folks in Cahokia Unit School District 187 say there won't even be a team. No sports, music, art and 79 district workers could be cut.
They blame the state owing $1.2 million and the threat that another $5 million could be lost in the coming year. But is the state solely to blame? Will all these cuts truly come to pass?
These cuts must be announced now to give employees the required legal warnings. Someone will hold the bake sales and volunteer to make sure there are sports programs.
Instead of waiting for salvation from the state, we hope school leaders and parents look at other ways to fund extracurricular programs, investigate why the school spends 12 percent more than average on support services and consider how the next set of labor contracts will change Cahokia's future -- short of consolidation.
For years we've known the state is failing its funding obligations. School leaders should already have been planning and must continue to act to protect the core mission of teaching the basics.