The state of Illinois has been without a comprehensive budget for about two years, and it’s starting to cause problems for some public high schools that are taking it upon themselves to pay for athletic trainers if the state won’t.
In May, two Springfield, Ill.-area, hospitals announced that they’d stop providing athletic trainers to nine high schools at the end of the academic year, in part because the state owes millions of dollars in bills to help cover their service.
Now, District 186 is digging into its own pocket to cover the costs — something it didn’t have to do previously, according to Fox affiliate WRSP.
The Auburn School District had previously paid about $9,000 for a full-time athletic trainer, but now those costs will rise.
“Since that’s cut, the options are much more expensive now,” superintendent Darren Root told WRSP. “We have a tentative agreement with Springfield Clinic for a full-time trainer. That expense is at $32,500 to get the same service that we were getting before.”
Despite the increased price tag, the value and necessity of providing athletic trainers to the district’s student-athletes remains.
“If you’re going to have the sports, and you’re going to do it right," Root said. "You need somebody there to make sure the kids are safe.”