Illinois nearly 6 months behind in education funding for transportation, special ed, other expenses

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • Illinois is almost six months behind in its obligation to give millions of dollars to school districts across the state for transportation, special education and other expenses.

The Herald & Review reports the stopgap spending deal Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled Legislature struck over the summer authorized a full year's funding for elementary and secondary education, intending to spare public schools from the uncertainty plaguing other state operations, which were only funded for six months.

As Illinois keeps up with distributing general state aid, which covers day-to-day school operations, districts wait for two payments of separate funds. Those payments are in a stack of unpaid bills totaling nearly $10.9 billion at the Illinois comptroller's office.

A spokesman for Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the office hopes to send last year's final payment next week.

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Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com