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Selected schools can take advantage of low- to no-interest bonds for construction and building needs

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL –Twenty-nine school districts have been authorized to sell their local bonds with a federal interest subsidy for construction projects through the Qualified School Construction Bond program (QSCB).

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved the QSCB recipients during its regular business meeting Feb. 10. A total of $495 million-plus in bonding authority from the federal government will be available to these districts.

“This authorization means selected districts can take advantage of low- to zero-interest bonds to pay for building and construction needs rather than diverting limited financial resources away from the classroom” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “No state dollars are being spent, and local taxpayers will not have to help foot the bill for high interest costs.”

ISBE accepted applications for the QSCB program from Dec. 1 to Jan. 15 and received a total of 193 applications seeking $2.4 billion. ISBE staff reviewed the applications using a priority ranking process approved by the Board and recommended 29 districts for approval. The approved districts are:

County

District Name

QSCB Authorization Requested

QSCB Authorization Recommended

Cook

Chicago Heights SD 170

$45,000,000

$45,000,000

Lake

Waukegan CUSD 60

7,000,000

7,000,000

Cook

Lincoln ESD 156

4,350,000

4,350,000

Cook

Community Consolidated SD 168

9,000,000

9,000,000

Lake

Round Lake Area Schools 116

900,000

900,000

Kane

Aurora East SD 131

50,000,000

50,000,000

Cook

Park Forest SD 163

13,000,000

13,000,000

Cook

Sandridge SD 172

1,300,000

1,300,000

Cook

Burnham SD 154-5

670,000

670,000

Cook

Lansing Elem SD 158

18,000,000

18,000,000

Cook

Cicero SD 99

28,445,000

28,445,000

Cook

Hoover-Schrum Memorial SD 157

3,000,000

3,000,000

Marion

Sandoval CUSD 501

2,000,000

2,000,000

Cook

Posen-Robbins SD 143.5

11,700,000

11,700,000

Winnebago

Rockford PSD 205

29,086,530

29,086,530

Vermilion

Danville CCSD 118

3,365,500

3,365,500

Cook

Country Club Hills ESD 160

6,000,000

6,000,000

Kankakee

Kankakee SD 111

29,820,000

29,820,000

Champaign

Rantoul Twp. HSD 193

1,015,874

1,015,874

Cook

JS Morton HSD 201

50,000,000

50,000,000

Cook

Argo CHSD 217

17,800,000

17,800,000

Cook

Bremen Twp. HSD 228

50,000,000

50,000,000

Cook

W Harvey-Dixmoor PSD 147

10,000,000

10,000,000

DuPage

Marquardt SD 15

26,700,000

26,700,000

Champaign

Rantoul City Schools 137

10,000,000

10,000,000

Cook

Bloom Twp. HSD 206

30,000,000

30,000,000

LaSalle

LaSalle ESD 122

5,478,000

  5,478,000

LaSalle

Streator ESD 44

5,500,000

5,500,000

Kane

Aurora West Unit School District 129

50,000,000

26,471,096

Total

$519,130,904

$495,602,000

The QSCB program was created under Section 1521(a) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program is a source of limited financial bonding for school districts to fund the rehabilitation or repair of an existing public school facility, construction of a new public school facility, equipment associated with repair or construction, or for land acquisition related to the construction of a new facility. Bond proceeds can be used for building rehabilitation and repair allowing districts to issue low- to no-interest bonds in lieu of higher interest rate Fire Prevention (health, life, and safety) bonds.

In 2012, ISBE entered an intergovernmental agreement with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) to grant GOMB the authority to allocate or issue these bonds. Late last year the GOMB notified ISBE that it relinquished its authority back to ISBE.

School districts that applied for the QSCB program were limited to a maximum request of $50 million each. If an authorized district does not issue the bonds within 18 months, the authority will revert back to ISBE. Bond proceeds also must be spent within three years of the issue date.

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