pexels arthur krijgsman 4019754 rLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is announcing that school districts in the 43rd District will receive over $110 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Teachers and students both have worked incredibly hard to adapt to new methods of learning over the past year,” Connor said. “I know that this extra funding will give them the resources they need to continue moving forward.”

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

Local school districts are set to receive the following amounts:
• Joliet Public School District 86 - $ 42,595,457
• Joliet Township High School District 204 - $ 14,782,792
• Channahon School District 17 - $2,115,173
• Laraway Community Consolidated School District 70C - $1,715,538
• Union School District 81 - $351,091
• Rockdale School District 84 - $837,369
• Chaney-Monge School District 88 - $1,436,211
• Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203 - $691,737
• Valley View Community Unit School District 365U - $34,857,485
• Woodridge School District 68 - $4,049,782
• Lockport Township High School District 205 - $3,309,684
• Fairmont School District 89 - $1,546,535
• Will County School District 92 - $1,367,127
• Lockport School District 91 - $807,445
• Taft School District 90 - $717,338

The majority of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, which gives local schools a great deal of flexibility in how they can use the money over the next 3 ½ years. At least 20% of the funding must be used to address learning loss, but beyond that, school districts can use the money to address many different issues and costs. For example, it can be used to better equip schools for safe learning, to prevent layoffs, to address students’ social and emotional needs, to fund summer programs, or to ensure all students have access to reliable Wi-Fi and technology.

The State Board of Education, in collaboration with other state agencies that address education, has produced a guide for local school districts to help them decide how to best use their resources. While the guide and other state-sponsored services are completely voluntary, the state aims to support local districts during this difficult time.

“I’m glad that we’re able to give back to our school districts and our educators after such a harrowing and difficult year,” Connor said.

In total, Illinois received nearly $7 billion to support local school districts.

Category: Press Releases

Rialto Theater AuditoriumJOLIET – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) toured the Rialto Square Theater in Joliet on Monday afternoon in an effort to bring attention to local venues whose operations have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Rialto opened in 1926 and has been a pillar of our community ever since,” Connor said. “It’s been hard to see so many local theaters unable to open for business because of the pandemic, and facing a lot of financial struggles as a result.”

The Rialto Theatre is not currently open for shows due to COVID-19 capacity limitations, but continues to be maintained by the Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority.

“Once those constraints are lifted, I certainly hope that people return to this beautiful Joliet landmark and ensure its continued vitality as the heart of downtown Joliet,” Connor said. “The Rialto holds a great deal of rich community history and I look forward to seeing it return to its pre-pandemic glory.”

Those wishing to learn more about the history of the Rialto Square Theatre can visit rialtosquare.com.

Category: Press Releases

Senator John ConnorSPRINGFIELD – Any municipality seeking to privatize its water company will be required to first receive approval from voters if Senate Bill 164 becomes law. State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport), sponsor of SB 164, joined the Citizens Utility Board and AFSCME to discuss the measure in a press conference Monday morning.

“There are communities right now in Illinois who have been fighting to get back control of their water systems from private companies, and they're not winning on behalf of their citizens,” Connor said. “Illinois private water companies are seeing record profits as a result of legislation that opened an express lane up for them to acquire public water systems from towns and villages.”

Currently, only a public meeting and publication of the terms of acquisition are required in order for water companies to be privatized. SB 164 aims to change that by requiring that a vote must be held among citizens before their city or village sells a public water system to a private company.

“Residents should be able to vote on the decision to sell their water system, just as shareholders get a vote in large decisions within a company,” Connor said. “Our job is protecting the residents, not increasing profits for private water companies.”

SB 164 awaits further discussion in the Subcommittee on Water Issues Management.

Category: Press Releases

pexels mabel amber 117602 rCREST HILL – Will County has been slated to receive just shy of $4 million dollars in funding for construction projects over the next three years, State Senator John Connor (D-Crest Hill) announced.

“This funding will bring jobs to the Joliet, Bolingbrook, and Romeoville areas for the next few years and will result in reliable infrastructure throughout the county for years to come,” said Connor. “Not only will we have the opportunity to strengthen our roads and bridges thanks to these grants, but we will be able to strengthen our communities and our economy.”

The grants are part of the 2019 Rebuild Illinois construction plan and will be distributed in six installments over the three-year period. Road and bridge improvements, new sidewalks and bike paths, or upgraded traffic signals are just a few of the changes that Will County may see as a result of this funding.

“The 43rd District has been hit hard by COVID-19, and I know that many communities in the district are having a hard meeting the constantly-rising costs of the pandemic,” Connor said. “The additional funding from the state will allow us to give those communities a much-deserved helping hand during these unprecedented times.”

The funding is the second of three grant cycles in the Rebuild Illinois plan.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office:
20660 Caton Farm Road, Unit D
Crest Hill, IL 60403
(815) 207-4445

Springfield Office:
M122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8800

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