PEORIA – The first new payments from Illinois’ recently passed public school funding reforms will be released this month, completing a years-long effort to change the state’s antiquated school funding mechanism.

The first payments will be distributed to the schools with greatest need, and more than $7 million in new funds will be coming to local school districts in the 46th Legislative District for an average of more than $175 per pupil. Peoria School District 150 sees the greatest total increase with more than $2.5 million in new funds and Limestone Community High School District 310 sees the greatest per pupil funding increase with $590 for every student.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said these dollars are the first step in fixing a generational issue that has plagued poorer school districts throughout Illinois.

“Illinois’ previous funding formula distributed money in such an unfair manner that school districts across our state were left behind,” Koehler said. “This new formula can help us reverse that trend and see new investments in the schools that need in the most.”

The bipartisan legislation was signed into law by the governor last year after months of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.