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Sycamore, HBR receive tech loans from state board of ed

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 9:07 a.m. CDT

The Illinois State Board of Education selected 22 school districts from across Illinois to receive more than $3.5 million from the School Technology Revolving Loan Program. The low-interest loans allow schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.

Among the schools selected were Sycamore Dist. 427, which requested $402,700, and Hinckley-Big Rock Dist. 429, which requested $97,600.

“We’re very grateful to be able to offer districts these loans,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. ”It’s essential we ensure students gain experience working with the technology and tools that will help build 21st-century skills. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers in an economy driven by technology.’’

The School Technology Revolving Loan Program is a three-year loan with a 2 percent interest rate. Districts repay the loan in six payments (due two times a year). Districts that meet criteria set in law are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis contingent upon the balance of the fund, which fluctuates based on repayment schedules. A formula dictates the maximum amount districts can receive based on enrollment. Some districts request less than the maximum claimable.

The loans can be used for technology investments like network upgrades, electrical work directly related to technology, and computer hardware used for classroom instruction or staff development..  

Since fiscal year 1999, more than $76 million (545 loans) has been loaned to qualified or approved school districts. Districts may decline loans or request a lesser amount.

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