Due to the pandemic and school meals currently being free for all students, District 191 families have completed far fewer Applications for Educational Benefits than in a typical year.
For families, the application determines their eligibility for benefits including free and reduced-price meals, as well as other potential discounts for participation in athletics, band and other activities.
For the school district, the applications - and specifically how many families qualify for those benefits - determine some of the funding that is provided to schools. With the shortage of applications this year, the district is on pace to lose as much as $3.7 million in what’s called “compensatory” revenue.
This funding is specifically used to provide student supports, including additional teaching positions which can lower class sizes, interventionist and other specialist type teachers, reading and math tutors, and additional support.
“If families do qualify, they will benefit and they’ll be doing a huge service for their schools. It’s hard to overstate the potential impact of this small act of community” said Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle. “If they don’t qualify, the loss is they’ll be spending a few minutes to find that out.”
Learn more and complete an Application for Educational Benefits at www.isd191.org/edbenefits.