Lincoln’s Challenge Academy Delays Start Of Next Class Over Budget Impasse

June 19, 2017
Lincoln's Challenge Academy cadets prepare for a Memorial Day ceremony last month at the school in Rantoul. The start of the next class will be delayed due to the state budget impasse.

Lincoln's Challenge Academy cadets prepare for a Memorial Day ceremony last month at the school in Rantoul. The start of the next class will be delayed due to the state budget impasse.

David Mercer/Illinois Public Media

Lincoln’s Challenge Academy in Rantoul will delay the start of its next class to make sure the state plans to pay its share of the school’s costs amid the ongoing budget impasse.

The Illinois Army National Guard oversees the boarding school for troubled teens. Lieutenant Colonel Brad Leighton said Monday that the next class of about 200 is now scheduled to start July 26th rather than July 12th.

Leighton says this will not be the first such delay for Lincoln’s Challenge during the nearly two-year-old budget impasse.

“Either last year or year before, we did delay the class by a couple of weeks, again, just to make sure we had some certainty,” Leighton said.

Leighton says the state is supposed to cover 25 percent of the roughly $9 million dollar annual budget for Lincoln’s Challenge. The state money covers salaries for the academy’s staff of about 100.

Story source: WILL