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For Immediate Release
June 9, 2004

East St. Louis Board of Education and
ISBE join together

Agreement ensures continued financial stability

(East St. Louis, IL) -- An intergovernmental agreement between the East St. Louis School Board and the Illinois State Board of Education will assist the district through the next fiscal year as it moves toward independent governance.

The East St. Louis School Board approved the agreement between the district and ISBE Wednesday at a special board meeting. Under the terms of the agreement, ISBE will dissolve the current Financial Oversight Panel at the end of this month, and a new Transition Committee will be put into place to assist and support the district in maintaining financial stability and effective management of its operations.

The Financial Oversight Panel will expire in October. The State Board, however, does have the legal authority to dissolve the panel earlier. The agreement is scheduled to be ratified by the State Board of Education at its June 16th meeting.

“This agreement is recognition of the honorable and worthwhile contributions that the members of the Financial Oversight Panel have made over the past decade and our mutual desire for the district to stay on fiscally sound footing,” State Superintendent of Education Robert Schiller said.

State Board Chair Janet Steiner commended the work of FOP chairman Richard Mark, and members Ann Duncan and Saundra Hudson. “The tireless efforts and commitment of these three people can not go unnoticed. They have worked hard to improve the fiscal condition of the district and consequently the lives of its students.”

Schiller said that State Senator James Clayborne forged the agreement between the East St. Louis Board of Education and ISBE. “All of us believe that this agreement represents a solution that ensures that over the next year we can get the right infrastructure in place so that the school board can effectively manage the district finances.”

“We have witnessed a decade filled with great improvements in the way that finances are managed in the East St. Louis schools,” Clayborne said. “The continued success of the district and our students is far too important for us to move backward. By investing one year into a proper transition, we can ensure the continued financial stability of the district.”

After approving the agreement, the East St. Louis Board of Education Wednesday approved the formation of the Transition Committee and its members, which will include, State Superintendent of Education Robert Schiller, Peoria Public Schools District 150 Superintendent Dr. Kay E. Royster and Prairie Hills School District 144 Superintendent Dr. J. Kay Giles.

“A lot of people have worked hard to get where we are today and it would be a shame if all of their hard work was for naught,” said Schiller. “I am proud to have worked together with the East St. Louis Board of Education and Senator Clayborne and look forward to a smooth transition over the next year.”

The Transition Committee will play an essential role in fulfilling the agreement. Its first order of business will be to consult with the East St. Louis Board of Education in appointing an Interim Chief Executive Officer. The CEO will report primarily to the Transition Committee and secondarily to the East St. Louis School Board. The CEO will assist in the search for a permanent district superintendent. The position will run through June 30, 2005 and the appointee may not seek an extension of employment beyond the transition period.

The Transition Committee will also assist the East St. Louis School Board in hiring an Interim Deputy Superintendent, an Interim Chief Financial Officer, and an Interim Internal Auditor. All the positions are slated to begin July 1, 2004, but unlike the Interim CEO, their employment may be extended beyond the life of the transition agreement.

The agreement provides that:

  • ISBE supports the district’s efforts to maintain financial stability, sound management and personnel practices and improvement of educational services.
  • The Transition Committee shall assist the East St. Louis Board of Education in its search for a permanent superintendent.
  • When the East St. Louis Board of Education conflicts with the CEO’s recommendations pertaining to management, personnel and financial decisions, the Transition Committee will have final review and approval authority.
  • The duties set forth for ISBE are contingent on a $300,000 appropriation by the General Assembly for Fiscal Year 2005. In the case that the General Assembly fails to provide adequate funding, the East St. Louis Board of Education will provide $200,000 to ISBE to fulfill its responsibilities set forth in the agreement.
  • The agreement will run concurrent with Fiscal Year 2005, beginning July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777