The COVID-19 Impact on the IESA

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The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) is the only organization throughout all 50 states that is set-up to exclusively govern and administer athletic and non-athletic activities at the middle/jr. high school level. Illinois is the only state that has an association that is separate from the state’s high school association. Participation in interscholastic statewide activities at the middle/junior high school level is a privilege unique to young people in Illinois education. Today, there are over 900 IESA member schools that believe in providing those opportunities for their students so they grow and learn from their participation in interscholastic activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on the IESA. We do not receive any funds from the state of Illinois. We are not a state agency. Most of our operating funds are the result of attendance at the state series events. As those events have been cancelled because of the pandemic, the Association has been crippled by the revenue loss. No championships were held for volleyball, wrestling, and track and field in the spring of 2020 which resulted in a loss of $440,000. There were no golf, baseball, softball, cross country, and girls basketball championships in the fall of 2020 and as of this writing it does not appear as though championships in any sport will be held for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. That will cause a nearly $1.5 million deficit to the Association’s budget. We simply cannot survive that kind of financial hit and continue to operate. In fact, we won’t survive. Without any significant income, we are spending our reserves and those reserves will likely run out in April. Once they are gone, so too will the very Association that has been providing opportunities for middle school and junior high school students for 90 years.

We have done so much for so many students in our 90-year history. IESA has provided each and every one something so unique to this country. We need your help if we are going to be able to continue to be the middle/jr. high school leader in education-based activities and provide opportunities for students. Any donation made will help to insure we can continue to do what we do better than anyone. Not only is the future of the Association at stake but so too are the hopes and dreams for students across Illinois who attend an IESA member school.

Every donation will have an impact. We need your support! Thank you.

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