School busesCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is announcing that school districts in the 8th Senate District will receive over $23 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to thank our local teachers, parents and students for their work during the pandemic and our state and national leaders for making this happen,” Villivalam said. “This year posed challenges on our educators, and I am confident that these extra funds will help them succeed in the upcoming school year.”

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:

  • Golf ESD 67 - $712,226
  • East Prairie SD 73 - $861,244
  • Skokie SD 69 - $5,650,534
  • Skokie SD 73-5 - $2,002,051
  • Morton Grove SD 70 - $1,055,871
  • Lincolnwood SD 74 - $2,492,511
  • Niles ESD 71 - $1,526,939
  • Niles Township HSD 219 - $7,458,913
  • Fairview SD 72 - $1,444,728
  • Chicago Public Schools System - $2,585,229,735

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.

In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.