The Illinois State Board of Education announced last week the selection of 22 school districts from across Illinois, including Waterloo, to receive funds from the School Technology Revolving Loan Program.
The low-interest loans allow schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.
Waterloo Community Unit School District 5 received a loan in the amount of $300,100.
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 a variety of technology investments, including:
•Equipment and wiring for installing and upgrading local- and wide-area networks and for network hardware.
•Supplies and labor costs for electrical work directly related to technology.
•Computer hardware used for classroom instruction and/or staff development.
•Other technology hardware investments that directly relate to staff development and classroom instruction.
•Staff development directly related to the integration of technology into the learning environment.
•Computer furniture (not to exceed 10 percent of the loan).
The program alternates between grades 9-12 and K-8 each year.
“We apply each and every year,” Waterloo School Superintendent Jim Helton said. “This is the first time we’ve received K-8 funds since 2010.
“It aids our overall technology integration and puts devices in students’ hands to maximize their learning with our talented staff.”