FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2001

CONTACT:  Ray Serati
217/782-7355
Kim Knauer, ISBE
217/782-4648
TDD/TTY 800/526-0844
www.state.il.us

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 Governor Awards School Maintenance GrantS 

Governor George H. Ryan today announced that public school districts, university laboratory and charter schools applying for a Fiscal Year 2001 school maintenance grant will receive funding for their top priority projects.   Funding levels this year will also allow a second grant award to a significant number of entities based on a ”need index” defined in the program rules.

“These grants enable all school districts to provide a safer and healthier environment for our students,” Ryan said. “Last year, the first year of this special program, 239 schools were able to repair or replace heating and air conditioning systems and another 54 used their grant money to remove asbestos.  Roofing problems, electrical systems, and fire alarm systems are among other priority areas that were improved.”

Districts could apply for as many grants as they had needs and could provide the required dollar for dollar local match.  Each project grant could be for up to $50,000 in one of five categories: emergency, health/life safety, state program, permanent improvement or other priorities.  “We are very happy to once again offer financial assistance needed to create quality learning environments that are Second to None,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee.   “The overwhelming participation in this program further illustrates the tremendous need for infrastructure work in our schools,” McGee added.

In FY 2001, approximately 1,670 applications were received representing 860 districts, including Chicago Public Schools District #299.  Chicago Public Schools District #299 receives 20% of the total grants awarded.  Each district that applied will receive at least one maintenance grant, with the remaining funds to finance a second round of projects in several districts submitting more than one application.  The program will be funded with a $73 million appropriation.

For a complete list of school districts receiving awards, please call the Governor’s press office at 217/782-7355 or the Illinois State Board of Education at 217/782-4648 or please visit the state of Illinois web site at www.state.il.us.

 FY 2001 School Maintenance Grant Program