"As a state, we must be on the same page with the same goals and
visions for the future of education in Illinois," Blagojevich said.
"This legislation will help bring education and policy stakeholders
to the table, where they can share the information and ideas needed
to develop integrated education strategies for every level from
early childhood through graduate education."
Sponsored by state Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, and state
Sen. Deanna Demuzio, D-Carlinville, the bill creates the new
statewide council that will study and make recommendations
concerning education at all levels and avoid fragmentation of
policies, promote improved teaching and learning, and continue to
cultivate and demonstrate strong accountability and efficiency,
among other duties.
"Our state's economic future is directly tied to how well we
educate our students," said Mitchell. "The Illinois P-20 Council
will bring together a diverse group of education stakeholders to
better coordinate Illinois' education systems from top to bottom."
"We're looking for the P-20 Council to make recommendations that
will build on efforts already under way here in Illinois to better
prepare our students for their careers once they graduate," said Demuzio. "They will be responsible for coordination across
educational systems and advising the state's education agencies, as
well as providing other support."
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The composition of the board was designed to represent the
diverse perspectives of education stakeholders. The governor will
chair the council and appoint six at-large members, each
representing a different field of expertise. They will represent
organized labor, an organization of parents, a civic organization,
local government and a nonprofit organization. The four legislative
leaders will each appoint one member to the council. Statewide
business organizations will appoint five members to the council, and
statewide professional education organizations will appoint six
members to the council. Members will also serve representing school
administrators and school boards, community colleges, four-year
independent colleges and universities, and public universities.
Also, the directors of the Illinois Board of Higher Education,
Illinois Community College Board, Illinois State Board of Education,
Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Workforce
Investment Board, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,
the Early Learning Council, and the Illinois Mathematics and Science
Academy will serve in an ex officio capacity.
"We look forward to working with the members of the P-20 Council
to better position our students for success as they transition into
postsecondary education and prepare to enter the work force," said
Christopher Koch, state superintendent of education, who will serve
in an ex officio capacity on the council. "We are working informally
now with our partners at the Illinois Community College Board and
the State Board of Higher Education to bring about better
coordination, and having this formal link is an asset that will
drive our decision-making in the future."
House Bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2008.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]