Schools start to see funds
The Comptroller’s office began transmitting on Sept. 7 $541 million in General State Aid to schools throughout Illinois. These payments contain the funds that were due to schools on Aug. 10 and 20. The next $264 million payment, due Sept. 10, is scheduled to be transmitted on Sept. 8. In total, schools will receive $805 million this week.
At this time, these payments will only include the base funding, which is each district's hold-harmless to prior year funding, for each district until the new “tier funding” levels created through the new formula can be calculated. These calculations, which include many new data points as well as verification of the data, are expected to take some time to complete to ensure schools are being accurately funded.
For now, the Illinois State Board of Education is ensuring that schools get their hold-harmless payments to tide them over until these calculations can be completed. The "hold-harmless" amount equates to what each district received in Fiscal Year 2017 for the following: General State Aid, Bilingual Education, Special Education Funding for Children, Special Education Personnel Reimbursements, and Special Education Summer School. These are the five programs that were rolled into the one, new formula for this year and going forward.