Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday the 28,000-student school district can look forward to receiving $220 million thanks to President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law in March to aid the nation in the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prtizker, who made the announcement in the Ellis Elementary School gymnasium, praised Rockford Public Schools for offering families of students from pre-K to 12th grade a choice between in-person and remote-only instruction since the first day of the school year.
"But still, we're all wondering if this was a lost year for many children," he said. "We worry about how living through this pandemic will impact their future." West, who grew up in the Ellis Heights neighborhood and attends church two blocks away from the school, said, "What excites me about this is the mere fact this money will not only help us get to a post pandemic normalcy, but it will help our community to promote equity and inclusion throughout the school district when it comes to technology, when it comes to infrastructure, when it comes to programming, and when it comes to reopening our schools."
The governor's visit to Ellis School was his second stop in Rockford. Earlier in the day he visited the BMO Harris Bank Center where he announced a multimillion-dollar investment in the arena after the Chicago Blackhawks officially bought the Rockford Ice Hogs, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate.
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