| For Immediate Release
May 20, 2004
Illinois State Board of Education Vice-Chair Resigns
Three Democratic seats now vacant
(Springfield) The Illinois State Board of Education
vice-chair Beverly Turkal submitted her resignation Thursday
and called upon the Governor to fill the three Democratic
vacancies with his anticipated appointments before the
General Assembly adjourns.
We have heard a lot about accountability over the
last five months but all of us know that the Governors
plan for education does nothing to improve education,
this is simply about governance and control, Turkal
said. With or without legislative changes, the General
Assembly has made it abundantly clear that the State Board
as the Constitution prescribes should continue
to oversee education in Illinois. The Governor should
immediately fill the vacancies for Chicago and downstate,
seeking Senate approval this session and then make the
board appointments effective July 1.
Turkal was appointed to the board in February, 2001 and
her downstate vacancy adds to the two other existing Democratic
vacancies on the board. Her term was set to expire in
January, 2007. The new appointees could then fall under
the reconstituted board or new majority, both of which
are currently under consideration in the Legislature.
In the event that proposed legislation is not enacted,
making the appointments immediately enables the Governor
to have a Democratic majority on the State Board.
The Governor has the ability to bring diversity
to the board and if he does so now he can offer the Senate
the oversight that they both desire and deserve,
Turkal said and added that if the Governor does not act
now it could be as late as November before the Senate
reconvenes and is able to consider the board appointments.
I remain a faithful proponent of the real needs
of education including those that focus on closing the
achievement gap and bringing equity of resources to all
schools, neither of which are addressed under the Governors
proposals, Turkal said.
Turkal resigned her position after accepting the position
of interim superintendent of the Robinson Community Unit
School District 2 which is located in her hometown and
where she previously served as the district superintendent.
Turkal served as Chair of the Governmental Relations
Committee and a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.
She said she is grateful for the opportunity to work as
a board member and that she was able to advocate for best
practices for all of Illinois school children.
I was honored to serve on a board that is faithful
in its advocacy for improving our schools, driving achievement
and bringing equity to the system and am grateful to the
ISBE staff who repeatedly equipped the board with the
tools it needs to sound the alarms that funding reform
is not a single-sided issue, Turkal said.
Turkal taught in the Chicago suburbs and in her home
area of southeastern Illinois. She served as a principal,
special education coordinator, director of buildings and
grounds, and superintendent throughout her career in Robinson,
Olney, and Brussels, Illinois. She has also served as
a student teacher coordinator for Eastern Illinois University
and worked for a private superintendent search and consulting