06/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

School Budget Crisis: State's Only School For Blind-And-Deaf Students May Close Doors

Katherine McCarrick is 14 but has the cognitive development of a 3-year-old.

The Peoria teen is blind and deaf, making her needs so profound that her parents enrolled her two years ago at the Philip J. Rock Center and School in Glen Ellyn -- the state's sole public facility serving children like her.

But now, the west suburban facility may be forced to close in coming weeks because of the state's financial crisis.

Peggy Whitlow, chief administrator of the Rock Center, said the state owes the facility about $1.7 million, or about half its annual funding, meaning she will not be able to pay her staff beyond April 15.

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