Chicago schools mistakenly received $87 million in aid due to state miscalculation

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The state of Illinois try to recover $87 million in aid paid in error to the Chicago School system over the past four years.

The ChicagoTribune reports that the district received the funds due to a “coding error” made by a contractor in 2018 as the state implemented a new school funding formula.

The state will distribute $87 million to hundreds of districts that were underpaid because of the mistake. Fourteen school systems owe between $1 million and $5 million, and 565 owe up to $100,000 according to the Illinois State Board of Education. A total of 762 school districts have been underpaid over the past four years.

State Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala said the state is “in communication with [Chicago Public Schools] over an extended repayment period, so that classrooms are not impacted.

State school board spokeswoman Jackie Matthews said the coding error overstated the enrollment of students attending state-licensed charter schools in districts with more than one such school. The error affected enrollment data in Chicago because no other district has multiple state-licensed charter schools.

Approximately 58,000 Chicago public school students are enrolled in more than 100 charter schools in the city.

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