Late payments on ‘categorical’ funds detrimental for schools

Monday, July 22, 2013

GALESBURG — Though state aid to the public school system has dwindled in recent years, that alone does not paint the whole picture of districts’ financial woes. Some school districts are waiting on grant money that is in some cases is six months late.
Grants and other “categorical” funds for school functions such as transportation and special education are a part of the $6.8 billion backlog of unpaid bills in Illinois. Without the funds, districts are being forced to tap into other funds and put an even larger strain on their tax levies.
Knoxville School District 202 is waiting on $100,000 in transportation funds from as far back as six months. Now, the district has had to pick up the state’s slack.