- Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 03:53 PM
CHICAGO – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is announcing that Chicago Public Schools will receive $2.585 billion in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank the local teachers, parents, and students for their hard work as this has been a difficult year for all,” Munoz said. “I’m confident this funding will help our students and schools move forward as the end of the pandemic is in sight.”
The funding comes as part of the two 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.
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.
“I encourage CPS to use this funding to help the most at-risk and disproportionately affected students in the district,” Munoz said. “I urge schools and teachers to take advantage of the state-produced guide, which was compiled with input from more than 300 teachers, administrators, parents, and students.”
In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.