By Dorothy Tucker

(CBS) – Here’s another effect of the federal government shutdown: Some 3,700 students in the Chicago area who were set to visit Washington in the next couple weeks could be out of luck.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker shows us how schools are scrambling.

To eighth-graders Josh Frydman and Jake Kraemer, a field trip to D.C. was supposed to highlight how the government works. Instead, they’re getting a personal and painful lesson on what happens when it doesn’t.

“I’ve never been to D.C. There’s been cool things I wanted to see so it’s upsetting,” Josh says.

The students are among 124 from Deerfield’s Caruso Middle School scheduled to leave next Friday for a four-day tour of all the major monuments, museums, and the capitol.

At this point, they’re all closed, and unless they reopen, organizers want to reschedule the trip.

“If they can’t walk into the capitol and see the rotunda and make the connections with social studies curriculum and see what’s happening there, it’s heartbreaking,” middle school teacher Beatrice Revelins says.

Teachers booked the tour through BrightSpark travel agency. The agency has nearly 4,000 other students from around the Chicago area in the same predicament.

Lisa Curtin says the agency is working with its partners and says the travelers likely won’t be penalized if they rebook.

That means there will be no extra charge for the parents, but it doesn’t eliminate the anxiety.

“We’re going there to learn about what makes this country what it is. It’s really frustrating they would do that,” Jake Kraemer says.

The students from Caruso are scheduled to fly to D.C. Friday Oct. 9.

Organizers say they’ll wait until the last minute to cancel the trip, hoping the shutdown ends.

If it doesn’t, they’ll reschedule for Veterans Day weekend in November.

Watch & Listen LIVE