Illinois' Lone School for Deaf and Blind May Close

State's budget mess puts Glen Ellyn school in jeopardy

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    PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson
    Cantisani claims he bumped and hurt his head in the jail cell after losing his cane (which helps him navigate) during the police ordeal.

    Illinois’ budget mess could shut the door on the state’s lone school for blind and deaf students.

    Come April 15th, Philip J. Rock Center and School will run out of cash to pay its staff, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Peggy Whitlow, the chief administrator of the Rock Center, says the state owes about $1.7 million dollars. Whitlow says that’s about half of its annual funding, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    “Our funding is basically exhausted,”  Whitlow said to the Tribune.

    The Philip J. Rock Center and School is a year-round residential program located in Glen Ellyn. It opened in 1978 and houses legally blind and deaf people, as well as severely disabled people, through the age of 21.

    The Rock Center offers students the opportunity to take classes in local public schools. Domestic and personal care as well as therapy services are also an integral part of the educational program, according to the Rock Center’s website.

    About 14 students live at the school.

    As one Mother told the paper, it’s “the one bright light in deaf-blind education in Illinois.”