Harris052416DOLTON – As Black communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) announcing schools in the 15th District are set to receive an estimated $261,020,731 in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Black students and teachers were some of the people most impacted by this pandemic, so our local school districts need to use the funds in a way that helps them overcome their barriers,” Harris said. “This federal funding means a lot for Illinois’ education system, and it will go a long way to help the 15th district community."

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

Local school districts are set to receive the following amounts:

Arbor Park School District 145


Bloom Township High School District 206


Bremen Community High School District 228


Brookwood School District 167


Community Consolidated Schools District 168


Community High School District 218


Dolton School District 148


Dolton School District 149


Flossmoor School District 161


Ford Heights School District 169


Forest Ridge School District 142


Harvey School District 152


Hazel Crest School District 152-5


Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District 233


Homewood School District 153


Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157


Lansing School District 158


Midlothian School District 143


Posen-Robbins School District 143-5


Prairie-Hills School District 144


South Holland School District 150


South Holland School District 151


Steger School District 194


Thornton School District 154


Thornton Township High School District 205


West Harvey-Dixmoor School District 147



The majority of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, which gives local schools a great deal of flexibility in how they can use the money over the next 3 ½ years. At least 20% of the funding must be used to address learning loss, but beyond that, school districts can use the money to address many different issues and costs. For example, it can be used to better equip schools for safe learning, to prevent layoffs, to address students’ social and emotional needs, to fund summer programs, or to ensure all students have access to reliable Wi-Fi and technology.

The State Board of Education, in collaboration with other state agencies that address education, has produced a guide for local school districts to help them decide how to best use their resources. While the guide and other state-sponsored services are completely voluntary, the state aims to support local districts during this difficult time.

“This pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our Black communities, and I’m glad to see that the Black Caucus’ efforts are helping make a change,” Harris said. “Providing guidelines on how to spend the funding will increase justice for our communities and help them move forward.”

In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.