SPRINGFIELD – On the day Gov. Rauner’s void in leadership caused the state to miss General State Aid payments to K-12 schools for the first time in its history, Comptroller Susana Mendoza directed the payment of $429 million in Mandated Categorical grants to help provide needed cash flow to schools.
Our office has been preparing for this contingency. 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. Categorical payments cover transportation, special education and other costs.
Comptroller Mendoza strongly urges the legislature to override Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1 so that Illinois schools can finally be equitably funded. The Categorical payments are no substitute for the General State Aid that parents, school administrators and, most importantly, the students, deserve to keep schools open through the entire school year. They will provide some relief, but this does not solve the current K-12 funding crisis the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1 has created.