Illinois schools receiving more than $100M of COVID funding to help with return to school

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Back to school covid

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois schools are receiving $108.5 million in federal funding to help prepare for the unique challenges of returning to school during COVID-19.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the funding will go to K-12 public education and institutions of higher education. The money is part of the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEER)

The Illinois School Board of Education also received $569 million for the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER).

The money from both funds will help bridge the digital divide and protect the health and safety of students to ensure all students receive a quality education.

Funding Highlights for PreK-12:

  • $10 million: Support early childhood programs across the state including an innovative text-messaging project to help parents support their children’s learning needs at home. (GEER)
  • $50 million: K-12 schools will receive funding to close the digital divide, training for educators and parents, and social-emotional supports for students (GEER)
  • $512 million: At least 818 of the state’s school districts will receive ESSER funding to support their local response to a return to school during COVID-19.

Funding Highlights for Higher Education:

  • $46 million: Funding to target institutions’ efforts to overcome barriers facing students due to COVID-19. The money could be for things like laptops, wireless hotspots, mentoring, tutoring, books, childcare, transportation, and more. (GEER)
  • $3 million: Support targeted initiatives to enroll and retain underrepresented students (GEER)

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