WEST CHICAGO – State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is announcing that school districts in the 25th District will receive $173,730,885 in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our local teachers, parents and students have learned so much during this pandemic –they’ve learned how to be resilient and have found new tricks and ways to engage classrooms,” Villa said. “The end of the pandemic is in sight, and this funding will help our students and schools move forward.”
The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.
Local school districts are set to receive the following amounts:
• West Chicago Elementary School District – $9,867,839
• Community High School District 94 – $3,930,792
• Yorkville Community Unit School District 115 – $3,184,923
• Batavia Public School District 101 – $3,672,413
• School District U-46 – $95,027,296
• St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 – $5,782,524
• Geneva Community Unit School District 304 – $3,829,821
• Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 – $1,684,262
• Indian Prairie School District 204 – $12,261,096
• West Aurora School District 129 – $34,489,919
The majority of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, which gives local schools a great deal of flexibility in how they can use the money over the next 3 ½ years. At least 20% of the funding must be used to address learning loss, but beyond that, school districts can use the money to address many different issues and costs. For example, it can be used to better equip schools for safe learning, to prevent layoffs, to address students’ social and emotional needs, to fund summer programs, or to ensure all students have access to reliable Wi-Fi and technology.
The State Board of Education, in collaboration with other state agencies that address education, has produced a guide for local school districts to help them decide how to best use their resources. While the guide and other state-sponsored services are completely voluntary, the state aims to support local districts during this difficult time.
“The Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan will provide schools the resources they need to reopen safely as soon as possible,” Villa said. “I urge our local school districts to use this state-produced guide to help us move forward and provide assistance for students and professional development for teachers who have gone through so much in this last year. I’m excited to see how our champions and heroes, our educators, bring our students out of this dark time into a new age.”
In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.