SPRINGFIELD – School districts can move forward from the pandemic without worrying about funding cuts due to temporary low enrollment under a new law sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

04212021CM0669“Our schools did an exceptional job helping our students learn through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Johnson said. “Now, as they prepare for a full return to the classroom, it’s critical they have all the resources they need to recover.”

Currently, the school funding formula uses average student enrollment over the previous three school years to determine the amount of money districts receive. To lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools’ budgets, Johnson’s law allows school districts to calculate their average student enrollment based on pre-COVID levels.

Under the measure, districts can use attendance records from the 2019-20 or the 2020-21 school year, whichever is greater, in their funding formulas to ensure they don’t lose out on crucial dollars as a result of the temporary drop in attendance some schools experienced during the pandemic.

“Thanks to our teachers and administrators, our kids stayed safe and engaged over the past year,” Johnson said. “This law ensures the hard work they put in doesn’t go unnoticed—and that they don’t miss out on the funding they rightfully deserve.”

Senate Bill 813, an initiative of Waukegan School District #60, takes effect immediately and will have an impact on school funding during fiscal years 2022-24.