ISBE displaying funding database, spending plans for schools

ISBE displaying funding database, spending plans for schools

  • Funds
  • December 27, 2022
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Schools throughout the region are completing projects to improve the learning and health of its students using funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program.

The program created grants to helps schools cover the growing costs related to the pandemic, such as supplies, health improvements to their buildings and additional educational materials and staffing to help retain and teach students.  

Triopia Superintendent Adam Dean said the state has required districts provide a quarterly expenditure report to show how and where they are using the funds. 

“We spent our ESSER 1 funds in the first year, mainly for supplies,” Dean said. “We increased our Chromebooks so we are almost 1 to 1, we bought the required medical supplies (thermometers, masks.”

The Illinois School Board of Education has created a database that will allow taxpayers to see how their school districts are using their Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. 

The state allocated $7.8 billion in funding to Illinois schools. 

The database has each school district with a dashboard of how much money has been received and spent by the district, while also providing plans from the district on how they have or plan to use the money. 

Triopia received $560,944 and has currently spent about $327,726, according to the database. 

With those fund, the district has hired an interventionist who will work with students to prevent learning loss during the school year with  $88,854,. The district has also hired an additional grade school teacher. 

Dean said this allowed them to split a larger class into two. Other funds were used for salary and benefits for office staff and bus drivers for the extended school year, licenses for math programs, reading curriculum, social studies, outdoor tables and security programs for the district’s computers. 

“We didn’t get as much as some of the larger schools,” Dean said. “Some districts have been able to do larger, construction-type projects. This has just helped us cover some of the costs for other things, like summer school and staffing needs.”

Other districts have used their funds to finance larger projects. 

Jacksonville, for instance, used some of the funds to help cover costs associated with the Washington project, such as the HVAC system. The district is in the process of renovating and expanding Washington Elementary School. 

Though the funds can’t be used to cover the full project, the district budgeted $2,742,870 for an HVAC system and installation. Another $18,409 is being used to provide salary and benefits for a nurse for Early Years for two years. 

Jacksonville received a total of $14,547,304 and have spent $5,367,693, according to the site.

Jacksonville has also budgeted funds to cover the cost of tuition for students to attend the Western Illinois Youth Camp during the summer, staffing and supplies. They are covering stipends for after school programs, curriculum supplements, laptops and software. 

There is $130,000 budgeted for new windows at Murrayville-Woodson and $30,000 of windows at Early Years. 

There is also $6,139,410 budgeted to help with items from the renovation at Eisenhower Elementary School that will commence once the project at Washington has been completed. 

Jacksonville’s plans are also available through the district’s website. 

Winchester School District received a total of $1,098,922 from the program. The district has been using the money to help cover the cost of an after-school tutoring program, summer school for at-risk students, salary and benefits for an additional teacher,  salary and benefits for a social worker and a school nurse. Funds were also marked to cover repairs and upgrades to buildings and classrooms, roof and HVAC. 

Other districts received: A-C Central $733,599; Beardstown $5.2 million; Virginia $781,493; Carrollton $1.4 million; Greenfield $1.4 million; Waverly $1.3 million; Franklin $935,511; Meredosia-Chambersburg $862,682; North Greene $4.9 million; Pikeland $4.8 million; Brown County $1.6 million. 

Full lists of projects and funding allocations can be found on the database. 

Districts have deadlines for spending the money, with the total amount by 2024. 

State Superintendent Carmen Ayala said the database is meant to show how schools are using the funds. 

“As we continue addressing the impacts of the pandemic, these funds are providing an unparalleled opportunity to transform systems of learning in Illinois that are more equitable, more inclusive, and more responsive to student needs,” Ayala said. “We are committed to being transparent about how these funds are being used as districts strategically accelerate student learning and support the social-emotional recovery of students.” 

Dean said this is just another way to distribute information. 

“All of this is already out there if you know where to look,” Dean said. “This just makes it easier to find and access.”


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