State asks CPS to repay $87M it mistakenly received over 3 years

“We have had several conversations with CPS and will continue to work with the district to resolve this matter,” a state spokeswoman said.

SHARE State asks CPS to repay $87M it mistakenly received over 3 years
 A sign is displayed on the front of the headquarters for Chicago Public Schools on Jan. 5, 2022. Classes at all of Chicago public schools have been canceled today by the school district after the teacher’s union voted to return to virtual learning citing unsafe conditions in the schools as the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775758823

Chicago Public Schools will have to repay the money.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

State officials are asking Chicago Public Schools to repay $87.5 million the district mistakenly received in 2018 during the rollout of a new state school funding formula.

A contractor working with the Illinois State Board of Education during former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration made a coding error that overstated the enrollment of students at state-authorized charter schools in districts with more than one such school, officials said this week. CPS is the only district with more than one state-authorized charter school, so it was the only system to get money it shouldn’t have.

The incorrect allotment to CPS compounded over the past three years, leading CPS to receive $87.5 million from the 2018-19 school year through this year that should have gone to other districts. ISBE said the money represents 0.3% of the total state funding — more than $28 billion — that has been distributed in that time.

“We have had several conversations with CPS and will continue to work with the district to resolve this matter,” said ISBE spokeswoman Jackie Matthews.

A total of 762 of the state’s 922 school systems are owed at least $10, with 14 owed between $1 and $5 million, 15 between $500,000 and $1 million and another 168 owed in the six-figures.

All districts owed more than $10 received a letter from ISBE in the past week notifying them how much they’re owed, and the General Assembly approved an immediate adjustment to state funding to make those districts whole. In the meantime, the state and CPS are working on a repayment plan.

“The error made by an ISBE contractor in 2018 during the initial development of the enrollment verification system for evidence-based funding has caused an overpayment to CPS in the amount of $87.5 million,” said CPS spokeswoman Mary Fergus. “We are in discussions with ISBE and the General Assembly about the impacts on CPS and the state budget.”

CPS didn’t say whether the district would have to make any cuts to current budgets to repay the funds.

The Latest
Masks would be urged for all residents in indoor public spaces in counties that rise to the high risk level. One of Cook County’s top doctors says she doesn’t expect the county to hit that level anytime soon. But Chicago’s Dr. Allison Arwady has said it “could happen potentially even in the next few weeks.”
Creating an ‘outdoor entertainment venue liquor license’ is a big step toward holding concerts this summer at the former Morton Salt facility, 1357 N. Elston Ave. But two alderpersons are a little salty about the prospect.
Forty-six states, including Illinois, reported declines in marriage rates in 2020, according to the CDC. Only Montana, Texas, Alabama and Utah saw increases.
In corresponding moves, the Cubs optioned right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. to Triple-A on and transferred outfielder Michael Hermosillo from the 10-day IL (left quad strain) to the IL with no injury designation,
The enrollment reached 100% of freshmen at four Chicago Public Schools during the last two years, according to the report from the CPS inspector general.