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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Lt. Governor Backs Bill Allowing Schools to Remain Eligible for High Impact Aid Payouts

  • November 6, 2011
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During a visit last week to Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) touted a bill moving in the U.S. Senate that would allow five public school districts serving the base to pool their students so they can qualify for a higher rate of federal impact aid over the next five years.

The bill, approved last month by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, would help one of the districts deal with the transfer of 200 students to schools in surrounding communities caused by a public-private housing venture at the naval station. Some of the housing is 20 miles from the base.

The extension will allow North Chicago to retain its heavily impacted status — and the significantly higher subsidy it brings — and benefit the four surrounding districts as well. North Chicago schools enrolled 1,312 students from military families last year, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Separately, Simon, chair of the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee, pledged to work with state agencies and Scott Air Force Base leadership to assist 110 civilians whose positions at the installation are being eliminated. Base officials announced 321 positions would be eliminated, but most of the positions were vacant, held by workers planning to retire or held by employees that will be transferred.

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