The following stories are among today’s top news of central Illinois.
School funding to be released
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois schools will start getting more than $300 million in additional state aid money that was included in the state budget approved summer 2017.
The state Board of Education, on Thursday, sent vouchers to the comptroller’s office that will get the additional money to more than 800 school districts. Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office said it had made preparations for the additional payments to be made once the Board of Education approved them. The payments will go out at the same time as regular state aid payments on the 10th and 20th of each month. The additional payments will start Tuesday and continue on those dates in April, May and June.
Under the school funding reform plan, schools would continue to receive the same state assistance they previously received. However, an additional $395 million in K-12 education spending was to be distributed through a new school funding formula. The new formula is designed to ensure the most state assistance was directed to school districts most in need. Critics said the old formula did not do that.
Check pjstar.com for more on this story.
Tinkham co-defendant gets 15 years in plea deal
GALESBURG — A Galesburg man took a plea deal for his involvement in the Dakota Tinkham murder.
Jovendia C. Williams, 20, West Berrien Street, appeared before Circuit Judge Paul Mangieri on Thursday with defense Attorney Kim Norton. He pleaded guilty to Class X felony home invasion/accountability. That means he, or one for whose conduct he is legally responsible, entered the 1126 Emery St. home of Tinkham, 19, without authority and remained in the house March 16, 2016, after finding out Tinkham was home. Tinkham was subsequently killed during a scuffle with Miguel