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Illinois Blog

Another Voice for Funding Equity


“Illinois is a patchwork of have and have-not districts. Rich districts pump out highly educated, college-ready students. Poor districts decay. Poverty persists.”

Stand Celebrates Reading Successes


Summer time is prime reading season, not just for kids on summer break but vacationers and beach goers alike. It can also be the time when folks take it easy and activities like reading get put on the back burner in lieu of enjoying a nice Chicago summer day spent outside.

Stand for Children Illinois recently celebrated the students who participated in our Summer Reading Challenge. In its first year, the program aimed to limit summer learning loss by keeping students engaged with books and activities meant to spur creativity and bring the stories alive.

Reauthorization of ESEA Progresses but Accountability is Lacking


Today’s Chicago Tribune shines another light on education news, this time with an editorial outlining the shortcomings of recently passed bills to overhaul the No Child Left Behind law. Both the U.S. House and Senate versions that passed those chambers – the Student Success Act and Every Child Achieves Act, respectively – “continue statewide testing regimens that break out results among students by race, income and special needs,” the editorial noted.

One area that is not included in either bill? Accountability for schools that repeatedly fail to educate students.

Special Needs Students Set to be Hurt in CPS Budget Cuts


Chicago’s most vulnerable students are set to lose out in the ongoing Chicago Public Schools budget crunch. Facing a massive budget deficit, CPS “says it can save about $42 million by modifying services for the roughly 50,000 special needs students it serves,” according to a report in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Stand Parent: Attacks Won’t Save CPS


Michael Butz, a Stand for Children Illinois parent leader, had a letter to the editor published recently in the Chicago Tribune, noting that personal attacks will not do anything to help Chicago students or resolve the distressing budget situation.

Tell Springfield: Protect Chicago Students!


Yesterday, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) outlined a plan that would cut $200 million in funding for our schools next year. This is a direct result of the Illinois budget impasse, which continues to fester. Chicago is particularly harmed, because it must pay pension costs that other schools have covered by the state. It is vital that our legislators in Springfield hear from us, their constituents and supporters of strong and fair education funding.

Gov. and Legislators Deserve Praise for New Education Budget


Governor Bruce Rauner and the leaders of the Illinois House and Senate have enacted HB3763, the new state education budget. While the state is still falling short of fully funding our schools, this budget is still an improvement, funding general state aid to school districts at 92 percent as compared with the 87 percent this past year. It also sets aside $85 million to recoup the losses of our neediest districts.

Civil Rights Groups Highlight Ed Funding Failures


A set of reports released Monday by civil rights groups found Illinois is one of many states with inadequately and inequitably funded public schools. On the issue of funding fairness, in particular, Illinois received an “F.”

A Washington Post story summarizing the findings of the reports released by the Education Law Center and the Leadership Conference Education Fund can be found here.

PARCC Makes Changes - For the Better


I’m a little late to the party, but let me add my voice to those who have recognized PARCC for listening to feedback and improving its test. This is the first year for statewide PARCC implementation in Illinois. Like any new program or system, continual improvement is critical, and PARCC’s next round of changes – announced last week – represent important progress.