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For Immediate Release
January 26, 2005

Eight school districts to receive consolidation incentive grants after Gov. Blagojevich signs bill to fund incentives
Funds made available by agency cost cutting measures at
Illinois State Board of Education

Springfield, IL – Today, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) processed payments to eight school districts for consolidation incentive grants totaling $1.98 million. The grants were made possible when Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 3362 into law, which included funding for the eight Illinois school districts.

“The Governor called on us to cut the fat from our agency operations and redirect that money to schools,” said State Superintendent Randy Dunn. “We took a hard look at things and were able to do just that.”

In November of 2004, Dunn announced plans to cut $2.6 million from the agency operational budget this fiscal year. From those agency savings, the General Assembly and Gov. Blagojevich have reallocated $1.98 million to fund the school consolidation incentives.

Districts that will receive incentive payments as a result of SB3362 are: Prairie Central District 8, $598,125; Downers Grove District 58, $114,059; New Hope District 6, $9,869; Fairfield Public School District 112, $128,454; United District 304, $73,234; Sangamon Valley District 9, $173,640; Staunton District 6, $605,664; and El Paso-Gridley District 11, $272,982. The districts should receive their funds by February 25.

Since 1984, 103 districts have received consolidation funding from the state. Consolidation affords school districts greater flexibility in the services they offer students, increased administrative efficiency, and a means to address underlying financial problems. School districts that consolidate are eligible for the following grants from the State Board of Education:

  • For four years the consolidated district receives General State Aid at the level of the district receiving the most State Aid prior to the consolidation.
  • For four years the consolidated district receives a grant to pay the difference in teacher salaries, allowing salaries in the combined districts to be increased to the same level.
  • The consolidated district receives a one-time grant to cover some of the negative fund balance that one district brought to the consolidation.
  • The consolidated district receives $4,000 per certified staff person, which includes all teachers and administrators holding certificates.

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