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Millions go to Illinois schools

Illinois Comptroller's office transmits $541 million in General State Aid to schools around the state.

$541 million in general state aid was divided among schools at 12:01 Thursday morning.

These were funds that were supposed to go out last month.

Ryan Whicker manages the funds for Quincy Public Schools.

"At this point, we're not getting any more money than we've gotten in the past...Over the past year we've done a lot of cuts trying to regain a solid financial footing. Over time we'd look at implementing those strategically as well as we're always looking to increase our salaries for staff," said Whicker, the Assistant Business Manager of QPS.

His response comes after the two-year budget impasse.

"Right now, our fund balances are very low. The first step would be to recoup those and build those so we can weather any storms that could happen in the future. After that we'd look at possibly implementing some of the things that we've cut or bring on new things that we currently don't have," Whicker said.

QPS is one of many districts across the state experiencing similar financial strain.

"We are sitting with about thirty days worth of cash on hand, which is not much. The state recommends that you have at least six months so we are in dire needs of funding. Luckily we can rely on our local tax funds to get us by for a while but we can't sustain without the state's general state funding," explained Whicker.
"The new funding formula that passed is going to take a few months to actually implement but once we get those new monies vouchered to us by the Illinois State Board of Public Education, my understanding is that they'll take anywhere from four to six months to transition into the new funding formula. Those schools will be made whole for whatever money they were owed," said Susana Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller.

Whicker says he's optimistic.

The next payment of $264 million will go out Friday to cover the first September payment due on Sunday.

In total, $805 million will be going out to schools this week.

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