IL misses school payment amid funding dispute

Pauline Gross
August 11, 2017

The announcement came on the same day general state aid payments were supposed to be sent to schools, but weren't for the first time in history.

The initial fiscal 2018 state-aid payment schools were scheduled to receive on Thursday was the first IL ever missed, according to state Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Because that money can't be sent absent a new school funding plan, Mendoza instead paid $429 million covering "categorical" payments that cover costs for bus transportation, special education and other services.

State aid payments can't be sent to schools until a new evidence-based funding formula becomes law.

The comptroller's office said schools received about $244 million twice a month in state aid in fiscal 2017, which ended June 30. "We've got the Illinois State Board of Education, which is a neutral scoring agency on this, still looking at numbers of the amendatory veto and so we are all sitting here guessing", said Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, during the hearing.

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The Illinois Senate will meet Sunday, August 13, to deal with Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a school funding bill. Rauner used his executive powers to cut out additional funding for Chicago Public Schools, calling it an unfair bailout. "I was proud to work with the advocacy groups, legislators and the governor to help make this law a reality".

Because of the uncertainty, some school administrators across the state say they will only be able to keep their doors open for a few weeks.

Murphysboro CUSD 186 superintendent Chris Grode is hosting a town hall tonight on SB1 at 6 McElvain School.

Luckily, there's some temporary relief for school districts.

Other reports by GizPress

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