Districts 65 and 202 to receive millions in COVID-19 federal aid relief

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Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker announced $7 billion in federal funding will go to Illinois K-12 public school districts.

Molly Lubbers, Assistant City Editor

Illinois K-12 school districts will receive $7 billion in federal funding to support students as they return to in-person learning, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a Wednesday news release. 

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School/School District 202 are expected to receive nearly $10.6 million and $3.7 million in funding respectively, according to a spreadsheet accompanying the news release. The funding comes through the American Rescue Plan and will be disbursed over the next three years. 

“I’m committed to making sure that Illinois leads the nation in assisting schools to make this new $7 billion count over the next several years to overcome the pandemic’s effects on our students, parents and educators,” Pritzker said in the release.

The Illinois P-20 Council, a group established by the state legislature to guide education policy, released a Learning Renewal Resource Guide, a living document providing school districts with recommendations to best support students with this funding. This guidance was shaped by the input of more than 300 educational experts and stakeholders. The group carried out educator, student and caregiver focus groups and sought feedback from teachers’ unions and other education organizations. 

The document details 12 priority issues for districts to consider, including enhancing academic and behavioral counseling and providing out-of-classroom learning experiences. The recommendations were developed with a focus on equity and and the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on marginalized students, according to the guide.

Illinois higher education institutions will also receive $2.5 billion across three rounds of funding primarily from the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund.

“It will help our state’s schools and universities make the best use of the more than $7 billion they’re receiving in federal aid,” state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) said in the release. “This funding is especially important for schools in disproportionately affected Black communities.”

Along with the guide, Illinois state education agencies will focus on four major goals to support schools: high-impact tutoring; social and emotional learning community partnerships; interim assessment and bridge/transition support. 

 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @mollylubbers

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