I was on a project that was, mostly, spreading wood-chip mulch at an elementary school in Glendale Heights. Out of this I have a couple of thoughts:
1: While spreading wood-chip mulch over landscape fabric will hide and eventually kill the weeds between shrubs, it won't be a long term solution. Before our mulch arrived, we were pulling weeds in areas that had previously been mulched -- many of which were growing not in the soil under the landscape fabric, but in the soil that used to be wood-chip mulch on top of the landscape fabric.
2: School playgrounds, and landscaping in general, are much different in northern Illinois and in New Mexico. Here, they are mostly grass and black-top, with wood-chip mulch or gravel around the swings and climbing equipment. In New Mexico, they are mostly hard packed dirt. The difference, of course, is the amount of rain and the natural fertility of the soil.
3: I wonder what people who are horrified at the idea of any taxpayer money going even vaguely to a church or religious organization, would think about money donated to a church being used to purchase landscaping supplies to be used at public schools?