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August 16, 2002

Schools to get $136 million more this year in federal funding through NCLB

As the 2002-2003 school year begins, the State Board of Education reports Illinois schools will receive about $136 million more in federal funding through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), a 25 percent increase over the 2001-2002 year.

The biggest funding boosts are in basic Title I assistance to low-income students (up $65 million); Teacher Quality support under Title II (up $27 million); and English Language Enhancement (up $10 million, more than doubling last year’s funding level.) A new program, 21st Century Community Centers, offers $12 million in competitive funds to bring communities and schools together in joint services and improvements.

“The new federal legislation brings with it new responsibilities for school districts,” said Robert E. Schiller, State Superintendent of Education. “Much of the new money is targeted toward closing the achievement gap,” he said. “Our agency has already begun to distribute these funds to districts, and is on schedule to send out additional federal dollars throughout the coming months as they become available from Washington.”

The State Board of Education is responsible for distributing ESEA federal funds to local education agencies (school districts) according to established federal formulas.

With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the form of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), school districts can look forward to additional funds to implement new requirements. The NCLB repackages many of the former Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) programs to ensure more targeted assistance for at-risk students and higher expectations for school performance over time.

New requirements of NCLB include:

  • Annual testing of all students against the state standards in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 by 2005-2006 and in science at three points in a student’s school career (including once in high school).
  • “Verification” of each state’s assessment system via required participation (every other year) by selected districts in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
  • Aggregate and disaggregate analysis and reporting of student achievement results.
  • A state definition and timeline for determining whether a school, district and the state are making “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) toward the goal of 100 percent of students meeting state standards by the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Technical assistance and then sanctions for schools, districts and the state for failure to make AYP.
  • Highly qualified teachers in core academic subjects by 2005-2006.
  • Highly qualified aides or paraprofessionals.
  • Support for students not meeting standards and/or for those who have special needs (e.g., homeless, limited-English-proficiency).
  • The use of “scientifically-based” research in developing and implementing programs.

The $136 million increase through NCLB is in addition to federal funds the state will receive for special education, vocational education and nutrition programs. Including those programs, Illinois schools will get increased federal funding of about $220 million for the 2002-2003 school year.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777