ANNA, Ill. (AP) — The state has rejected a southern Illinois school's request to use nearly $900,000 in federal COVID-19 cash for artificial turf at the football field and a new track surface.

The request was made by the Anna-Jonesboro High School Board, which said kids in gym classes would benefit from the new turf, not just the football team.

But the Illinois State Board of Education turned down the project, The Southern Illinoisan reported.

The newspaper was told to file a public records request if it wanted more details.

A parent, Paula Brue-Hasty, said there were more important needs at the high school, including mental health services and a leaky roof over the art room.

School board member Shane Osman said the turf would cause excitement.

"Go down and tell these kids that we are getting a turf field and watch the sheer joy on these kids' faces," Shane Osman said at a July 19 meeting.