Illinois State Board of Education


The Illinois State Board of Education has decided to review the slate of standardized tests students take, to try to make sure the exams align with each other.

Currently, kindergarteners are evaluated by one test, then elementary students with another, and high school juniors with a third. All those tests measure different concepts, making it difficult to see where the curriculum needs to be improved.

Amanda Elliott, legislative affairs director with the state board, says the current system causes many districts to implement additional tests.

  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Children across Illinois will have access to free, healthy meals and snacks this summer even though they're not in school.

The Illinois State Board of Education and the U.S. Agriculture Department are partnering with local organizations on the Summer Food Service Program.

Food is available to youth age 18 and younger who meet income eligibility guidelines. Last year, Illinois sponsored more than 1,900 sites statewide.

Illinois State Board of Education / Facebook

For the past year or two, public school funding has been a topic of news stories, yard signs and even campaign ads culminating in Illinois lawmakers approving a historic overhaul of the way the state pays for education. But as it turns out, getting the reform signed into law was only half the battle. The nitty-gritty of actually implementing the changes has sparked a series of legislative skirmishes pitting the State Board of Education against some unexpected opponents. Our Education Desk reporter Dusty Rhodes explains.



The state's education agency wants to hire a "storyteller" to relay "amazing" stories from Illinois' public schools while lawmakers are still trying properly fund them. 

The Illinois State Board of Education today voted unanimously to ask the general assembly to double state funding for public schools.

Last summer, the legislature voted to change the way Illinois funds schools by adopting what's called an evidence-based model. That model weighs what each district needs against its local resources. As it turns out, some districts can't achieve even 50 percent of adequate funding, while others can get close to tripling what they need.

Peoria Public School Enrollment Holds Steady

Oct 31, 2017

The Illinois State Board of Education released its annual report card Tues. and the data show some shifts in Peoria Public Schools 2017 enrollment. 

A suburban Chicago mayor is the latest Democrat to announce a 2018 bid for Illinois attorney general.

Illinois education officials say the elimination of some requirements for teacher licenses has streamlined the licensing process and hasn't sacrificed the state's high standards.

Illinois schools will be required to teach financial literacy skills such as balancing a checkbook and putting money into a savings account this school year.

The Illinois State Board of Education has named 10 finalists for 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

The Illinois State Board of Education is proposing a new timeline for a federal law that aims to help students pass state exams as well as be proficient in math and reading.

Flickr Creative Commons/Alan Cleaver

The Illinois Senate has approved a two-year property tax freeze.  Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago pushed two property-tax freezes measures through the Senate. 

Seventeen school superintendents sued the state of Illinois today. They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

10 school districts are participating in a pilot program designed to help the Illinois State Board of Education identify some best practices in competency-based learning. It’s a national trend in education.


The Illinois State Board of Education has voted to approve the settlement of a years-long lawsuit that claimed discriminatory school funding.
The board's Wednesday vote resolves litigation with the Chicago Urban League, which claimed in its 2008 lawsuit that the state's funding model had a "demonstrable, disparate and adverse impact" on minority students.

The Illinois State Board of Education is drafting a plan to implement the federal law that’s replacing No Child Left Behind. Educators have hailed the flexibility in the Every Child Succeeds Act. But Illinois state superintendent Tony Smith says the federal Department of Education is undermining the law's intent by writing regulations that limit that flexibility.

Illinois education officials are beginning to draft legislation that would prohibit school districts from dropping students from enrollment lists because they don't meet minimum academic and attendance standards.  Illinois State Board of Education officials say that current state law increases the chance that at-risk students will drop out of school.

The head of Chicago Public Schools says Gov. Bruce Rauner's education funding plan is a continuation of a "reverse Robin Hood" education policy where rich districts get more and poor districts get less. 

Peoria Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner this week is continuing a tour of school districts around the state to talk about school funding. But a lawmaker proposing changes to the way Illinois funds schools questions the governor’s rhetoric.

Leaders in both parties have accused each other of trying to use state funds to bail out financially-troubled Chicago Public Schools.

Rauner, a Republican, has also been telling students that he plans to increase overall state aid to schools.

During his budget address yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner pledged to fully-fund state aid to public schools. Today, a state senator is questioning the governor's math.

Illinois' public schools receive state aid through a complicated formula. It’s meant to ensure that every school can spend at least 6 thousand dollars per student every year. But for the past few years, state government hasn’t met that obligation.

Rauner said for the first time in 7 years, he wants to fund 100 percent of the state aid formula.

Illinois State Board of Education

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois State Board of Education has approved 29 school districts for low-interest and zero-interest bonds to pay for the construction and remodeling of schools.

The districts will be able to borrow, in total, $495 million through the Qualified School Construction Bond program. The program was created in 2009 as part of federal stimulus package after the Great Recession. 

Illinois' school funding formula relies heavily on property taxes, resulting in deep disparities in districts’ levels of spending. When the state school board met this morning, members talked about a potential change to make the funding formula more equitable. 

sierraromeo [sarah-ji] / Flickr/Creative Commons

A McLean County School is receiving national recognition for closing in the achievement gap, despite seeing its low-income student population double in recent years.

Parkside Elementary in Normal has a poverty rate of more than 52 percent.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Thurs. that Parkside received a distinction from the National Title I Association for lowering its achievement gap among minority and low income students to 24 percent in 2014. That figure is down 11 percent from 2011.  

District 150 surveying school community to track progress

Jan 13, 2016

Peoria Public School District 150 is surveying parents, students and teachers to get a bird’s-eye view of the district’s learning environment and culture.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey is a statewide initiative with the Illinois State Board of Education, developed by the University of Chicago. District 150’s Chief Curriculum Officer Susan Grzanich says the survey allows members of school communities a chance to have their voices heard.

A budget request from the Illinois State Board of Education would increase state funding to most school districts.  Only the wealthiest districts would see a decrease, and it would be less than 1%. 

The Illinois State Board of Education released loads of data on Friday, when the latest statewide report card debuted. But it doesn't include other information school officials say they'd really like to get ahold of.

The school report card shows student demographic trends, class size, graduation rates, how well teachers at any given district are paid compared with the state average.

But a key indicator of academic progress?

That's not posted.

The makeup of Illinois schools is changing according to information released by the state.  If you moved every desk, from every Illinois school, into one giant classroom, more than half of the kids in those seats would be students of color.

State education data released Friday as part of the annual Illinois Report Card show Illinois high schools are sending many graduates to college unprepared.

Monday’s District 150 meeting was “math-a-licous” -- as one enthusiastic teacher was recognized for being named Best Teacher by the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Kim Thomas teaches math at Woodruff Career and Technical Center. She choked back tears after thanking the district for their support.

“I feel so math-tastic and honored to have this award,” Thomas said. 

She went on to thank her principal Tom Blumer, who describes meeting her as “getting hit by a bulldozer made of math.”

Plan for school funding could appeal to both sides

Oct 26, 2015

There’s no end in sight to the political gridlock in Springfield. But one group says it has an education plan it’s convinced both Republicans and Democrats could support.  That plan is a new twist on an old idea: corporations paying money into a special fund.  They’d get tax breaks.  And parents would get cash to use for the school of their choice.  IPR’s Tony Arnold explains.