Since 2008, the Palestine School District has lost over $1 million in federal and state aid, at a time when officials need to cut half a million dollars in operating cost.
"I think there's a general inequity in funding in the state of Illinois," said Joe Sornberger, superintendent of the Palestine School District.
It's a feeling this first-year superintendent learned quickly.
In the last two years, the Palestine School District has lost over $300,000 in state aid - the main sources of funding for the schools there.
"We have to take action now in order to maintain our school district's fiscal health going forward," he said, "but with that comes some terrible decisions."
And that means jobs.
At Thursday night's school board meeting, officials were forced to lay-off six certified teachers, with specialties including music, PE and special education.
"When you do a reduction in force, it's on positions...it's not people," said Sornberger.
And there's still more to do.
With $500,000 already on the chopping block - and another quarter million looming for next year - school leaders are considering cuts in administrative staff, extracurriculars and transportation.
"We're going to have to get creative and finding new ways to educate our kids," said Sornberger.
But all is not lost for district's 392 students.
For instance, local business leaders have started a "CEO class."
"It's going to cost nothing to the schools. It's your local businesses coming in and taking care of things," said Sornberger. "Stepped up and helped out in a various amount of ways and we appreciate all of the support were getting from the community in our time of need."
Just another example of doing whatever it takes to put students first:
"We do great things," said Sornberger. "The schools in Illinois do great things. Most of the time you hear about the negative, but there are a ton of positives.
The teacher lay-offs will go into effect at the end of the school year.
If funding comes through, the district does have the right to recall those people.
The school district is also renewing a "feasibility study" to collect data on consolidation or annexation with Hutsonville schools.