January 31, 2001

Further Information: 217/782-4648

"State of the State a Record of Accomplishment, Aggressive Plan for the Future"
Statement of State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee

“Governor George H. Ryan’s State of the State address outlines an impressive record of accomplishment in education over the past two years and the State Board is pleased to have been an active partner.  It also provides an aggressive plan for the future, parts of which we have already begun working with his office to execute.

“The Governor's continuing commitment to providing education at least 51 per cent of new revenues is a key to making Illinois schools Second to None and we are pleased that he again stressed that strong commitment.

“We are also especially pleased with the Governor’s commitment to:

·    Focusing on early learning and literacy by expanding Illinois Reads and exploring ways to providing all children access to preschool and full-day kindergarten programs,

·    Supporting quality educators by increasing the number of nationally certified teachers,

·    Assisting schools and students in academic difficulty by strengthening his successful Summer Bridges initiative.

·    Strengthening efforts to secure more federal funding for Illinois schools.  Working with Governor Ryan’s Washington office, we have already secured some increased funding.  The Governor’s strong message of leadership means we should have even better results in the future since many of his initiatives align with the education plans of President Bush.

“Our goal is to be a high-performing agency that is responsive to meeting the needs of local school districts: 

ØStreamlining and performance review are already well under way at ISBE.

ØBusiness plans are in place to directly tie activities to State Board priorities and to the budget.

ØCustomer Service Teams now serve schools more directly in every area of the state.

ØDirect involvement with schools by all staff now occurs through the School Ambassador program.

ØRegional Schoolhouse Meetings and more direct communication channels with local educators and citizens keep us focused on improving agency effectiveness in meeting their needs.

“We will be working closely with the Governor to further improve our efficiency and effectiveness in helping schools serve their students.

“There is nothing more important to the future of our state than providing quality education to our children. Governor Ryan has again established that clear focus with his State of the State message.  We look forward to greater collaboration with the Governor, General Assembly and citizens of Illinois to put in place the programs contained in today's address.”