State schools get $50 million more in emergency funding
Public schools across the state will receive an additional $50 million from the governor’s emergency education relief fund, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.
The money will go toward closing the digital divide and training educators and families to assist students in using technology.
It also will help launch a student care department within the State Board of Education, equipping school districts to support students who’ve experienced trauma.
The $3 billion governor’s emergency education relief fund was established as part of the coronavirus stimulus bill. The U.S. Department of Education granted the money to governors to support schools during an emergency. Illinois was allotted about $108.5 million from that $3 billion and has one year to award the funds; unspent money will be returned to the federal government.
To date, the state has awarded more than $100 million to school districts this fall from the emergency fund. Districts also received $512 million directly from the coronavirus relief bill, Pritzker said at a news conference Tuesday announcing an expansion to the state’s apprenticeship program.
“Despite the extraordinary challenges of COVID-19, I remain committed to a fundamental principle about education,” Pritzker said. “Every Illinoisan, no matter the color of their skin, no matter where they live, no matter what their income level is, deserves a high-quality education from cradle to career.”
With the Trump administration pressing for students to return to classrooms this fall, Pritzker said his No. 1 priority is the health of students, teachers, paraprofessionals and parents.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announces money for state public schools to help assist students with technology.