chicago

Chicago schools mistakenly received $87 million in aid because of state's miscalculation

April 10, 2022
The Illinois State Board of Education says it will try to recoup the money from Chicago and distribute a like amount to 762 districts who have been shortchanged over the last 4 years.

The state of Illinois is trying to recoup $87 million in aid that was mistakenly disbursed to the Chicago school system over the last four years.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the district received the funds because of a "coding error" made by a contractor in 2018 as the state was putting a new school funding formula into place.

The state will distribute $87 million to hundreds of districts that were underpaid because of the error. Fourteen school systems are owed between $1 million and $5 million, and 565 are due up to $100,000 according to the Illinois State Board of Education. In total, 762 school districts were underpaid over the past four years.

State Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala said the state is “in communication with [Chicago Public Schools] about an extended repayment period, so that classrooms are not impacted.” 

State school board spokeswoman Jackie Matthews said the coding error overstated the enrollment of students attending state-authorized charter schools in districts with more than one of these schools. The mistake affected the Chicago enrollment data because no other districts have multiple state-authorized charter schools.

About 58,000 Chicago public school students are enrolled in more than 100 charter schools in the city.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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