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News

For Immediate Release
November 9, 2004

Illinois State Board of Education
awards grants to struggling schools

Springfield, Ill. –The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded more than $14 million in System of Support Coordination and Services grants to ten educational support organizations in Illinois. The grant awards represent the second year of a three-year grant program for regional providers to support schools in their area either in academic early warning, on the academic watch list or at risk of placement on the list.

“The State Board of Education is committed to working with struggling schools to turn things around,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “It’s what the kids deserve and what their communities need.”

System of Support services may include health services, nutrition support, family involvement and support, before- and after-school activities, programs to improve school climate, community support and services for schools, students, families and communities. These services may include expanded community use of school sites and community service by students and school staff.

Each of the grant recipients has developed and put in place a plan to help targeted schools and districts develop school improvement plans focused on academic achievement. The four components of the plans are:

  • data analysis and school improvement plan development;
  • standards-aligned curriculum, instruction and classroom assessment;
  • teacher and administrator enhancement; and
  • student, family and community support services.

“By focusing on struggling schools and districts we can target efforts where they’re needed the most,” said Interim State Superintendent Randy Dunn. “The providers have worked one-on-one with these schools to help them get plans in place that produce positive results.”

Evaluation of each program’s success is based on:

  • positive effects on educator knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes;
  • increases in the number of staff meeting “highly qualified” criteria;
  • positive effects on student behavior and school environment;
  • positive increases in family and community support; and
  • cost-effectiveness.

The Systems of Support Coordination and Services grants are funded through State School Improvement funds and Federal Title I School Improvement, Title II Teacher Quality and Title V Innovative Programs funds.

Organizations receiving grant awards are:

  • Intermediate Service Center, West Cook - $1,736,000
  • Intermediate Service Center, South Cook - $2,470,000
  • Regional Superintendent of Education Professional Development Alliance, Joliet - $1,790,000
  • Regional Office of Education, Boone/Winnebago - $1,400,000
  • Regional Office of Education, Peoria - $1,775,000
  • Regional Office of Education, Iroquois-Kankakee - $1,717,000
  • Regional Office of Education, St. Clair - $1,865,000
  • Regional Office of Education, Ullin - $1,130,000
  • Illinois Principals’ Association - $400,000
  • Illinois Association of School Boards - $200,000

This year, Gov. Blagojevich and members of the General Assembly approved a state funding increase of $389 million for targeted education programs. Since taking office, the Governor increased education funding each year, bringing the state’s commitment to education this year to nearly $800 million over annual funding levels two years ago. In total, Illinois schools have received more than a billion dollars in new funding since the Governor took office.

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