March 19, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Announce More Than $380 Million for Illinois Schools for COVID-19 Testing


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced a total of $381.6 million in federal funding for the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago to support COVID-19 screening testing for teachers, staff, and students to assist schools in re-opening safely for in-person instruction and to support essential worker testing. With funding provided through the American Rescue Plan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $300.5 million to the State of Illinois and $81.1 million to the City of Chicago.

This funding is part of $10 billion the CDC is sending to states to support COVID-19 testing for schools. The American Rescue Plan also provided $123 billion nationally for relief to elementary and secondary schools through the U.S. Department of Education.  Illinois’ share of that funding is $5.1 billion.

“Boosting our state’s COVID-19 testing efforts in schools will help make getting our children safely back into the classroom a reality,” Duckworth said. “Senator Durbin and I are proud that this American Rescue Plan funding will help deliver much-needed support to Illinois teachers, students, families and schools as we begin to see a light at the end of this deadly pandemic’s tunnel.”

“Getting kids back to school safely has been a priority throughout the pandemic, which is why we fought for this funding in the American Rescue Plan,” Durbin said. “These federal dollars will allow for increased COVID-19 testing in schools, which is essential for reopening schools and keeping them open. Help is on the way for Illinois schools to help finally put this pandemic behind us.” 

CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools, released in February, makes clear that screening testing is a tool schools can utilize to help reopen safely as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation approach.  This funding will be able to be deployed quickly as part of a strategy to help get schools open in the remaining months of this school year.