Illinois Misses School Aid Payment Deadline for the First Time Ever: Comptroller

Illinois missed the deadline make payments to K-12 schools for the first time in history Thursday, according to the state comptroller.

The state failed to make General State Aid payments by the Thursday deadline, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in a release.

Mendoza directed the payment of $429 million in grants to schools as a contingency, according to the release.

"Failure to sign General State Aid funding legislation allowing payment to school districts statewide meant monies reserved this week for that purpose, combined with additional cash management strategies, could be utilized to pay the grants already owed to those districts," Mendoza's office said, adding that categorical payments cover transportation, special education and other costs.

The missed deadline comes as the battle over school funding continues in Springfield.

Lawmakers have yet to override or uphold Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a bill to create an "evidence-based model" of school funding.

Rauner vetoed the bill earlier this month, making changes that included removing financial considerations for CPS’ block grant and pension payments – the only district statewide for which the state does not pick up employer contributions.

With no funding formula approved, no checks are able to be sent to any schools - even though the anticipated start of the school year is just weeks away.

That's because an "evidence-based model" is required as part of a budget deal that legislators approved in July. The state Senate is scheduled to take up SB 1 in a special session on Sunday.

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