Durbin, Duckworth Announce $108 Million For Illinois Emergency Education Block Grants

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $108,497,757 in federal funding to ensure education continues for students of all ages impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is a flexible emergency block grant designed to enable governors to decide how best to meet the needs of students, schools, postsecondary institutions, and other education-related organizations.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to our education system, from elementary schools to universities. This federal funding will give Governor Pritzker flexibility to help ensure Illinois students don’t fall behind," Durbin said. "Senator Duckworth and I remain committed to finding more legislative solutions to provide additional relief for Illinois students and schools."

"It’s critical that students, teachers and schools across Illinois have the resources they need to navigate this public health and economic crisis we are currently in," Duckworth said. "I’m proud to work with Senator Durbin to advocate for federal support that will help Governor Pritzker assist our students and schools who need it most right now."

"Over the last month, Illinois’ schools have stepped up and faced the many challenges of COVID-19 with focus on caring for students and communities. This federal funding will help students access resources and support to enhance remote learning, support teachers in developing their remote instruction skills, and assist schools in continuing to provide meals to children and communities," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I thank Senator Durbin, Senator Duckworth and our congressional delegation for all their hard work. I remain committed to working alongside them as we seek additional relief for communities across Illinois."

The CARES Act allocated nearly $3 billion to the GEER Fund, which governors can use at their discretion to immediately to support a wide range of educational needs. GEER was part of more then $30 billion in funding provided to education through the CARES Act.