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Illinois Schools get Half a Billion Dollars

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The federal government is sending a half-billion-dollars to Illinois schools. Illinois State Board of Education spokesman Matt Vanover calls the $555-million infusion a “relief.” He says the money will pay the general aid the state sends schools twice a month.

VANOVER: It is definitely a relief. It is something that we had planned and something the governor and General Assembly had made as part of their budget for FY10 that we would get this approval. And so having this money come through is, uh, essential for schools to get the money that was promised them by the state.

Vanover says the cash will help free up the state’s growing backlog of unpaid bills. He says the state owes $700 million to schools. Vanover also warns there won’t be any more money next fiscal year if there’s not a new stimulus package. He says that’s a major budget concern for local districts.

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