Â ISBE names local districts to benefit from low-interest loans to boost technology in schools
Springfield, ILÂ â€” The Illinois State Board of Education selected six school districts from across Illinois to receive a combined $618,000 from the School Technology Revolving Loan Program (STRLP). The low-interest loans allow schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.
â€œItâ€™s essential students keep up with technological advances so they can succeed in a high-tech tomorrow,â€ said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. â€œThese low interest loans provide another option for cash strapped districts so that they can provide the resources necessary to prepare students to succeed in college and careers.â€
The districts receiving the loans and the amounts, which total $618,000, are:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lexington Community Unit School District 7, $74,950
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Irvington Community Consolidated School District 11, $15,000
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â New Berlin Community Unit School District 16, $110,050
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Elmwood Community Unit School District 322, $91,300
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Wolf Branch School District 113, $105,000
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Community Unit School District 300, $221,700
The School Technology Revolving Loan Program is a 3-year loan with a 2 percent interest rate. Districts repay the loan in six payments (due on June 1 and Dec. 1 of each year). Districts that meet criteria set in law are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. A formula dictates the maximum amount districts can receive based on enrollment. Some districts request less.
This yearâ€™s loan applicants listed plans such as purchasing projectors, interactive white boards, laptops; creating iPad labs; training staff for using technology in the classroom; upgrades to computer networks and wireless coverage; and more.
The loans can be used for a variety of technology investments, including:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Equipment and wiring for installing and upgrading local- and wide-area networks and for network hardware.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Supplies and labor costs for electrical work directly related to technology.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Computer hardware used for classroom instruction and/or staff development.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Other technology hardware investments that directly relate to staff development and classroom instruction.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Staff development directly related to the integration of technology into the learning environment.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Computer furniture (not to exceed 10 percent of the loan).
Since the inception of the program in fiscal year 1999, more than $75 million has been loaned to qualified school districts. A total of 530 loans have gone to districts so far, not including FY12. Loan applications are received from June 1 to Dec. 1 every year.
In FY 2011 districts, charter schools, lab schools, area vocational centers and recognized nonpublic high schools were eligible to apply. In FY 2012, the loan was extended to qualifying districts serving grades K-8. The loan will continue to cycle in that manner.
For more information, visit http://www.isbe.net/curriculum/elearning/html/revolving_loan.htm.