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For Immediate Release
May 22, 2006

Illinois State Board of Education announces recipients of $1.5 million in Advanced Placement grants

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced awards to Illinois schools through the Advanced Placement Classes - College and Career Success for All Students competitive grant program for Fiscal Year 2006. The amount of funds for this year is a total of $1.5 million, which will be divided among the 28 successful bidders.

The Advanced Placement Program® is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. Since its inception in 1955, the program has provided motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in the program not only gain college-level skills, but in many cases also earn college credit while they are still in high school. AP courses are taught by dedicated and enthusiastic high school teachers who follow course guidelines developed and published by the College Board.

On February 3, 2006 the Illinois State Board of Education issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Advanced Placement Classes – College and Career Success for All Students competitive grant program, with a March 6, 2006 deadline for application submission. Fifty proposals were received from Illinois public schools.

PA 094-0534, the “College and Career Success for all Students Act” was enacted during the 2005 legislative session. The legislation provides for staff development training and support for students enrolled or preparing for Advanced Placement classes. This includes pre-AP programming in middle or high schools. ISBE made these funds available through a competitive bid grant program, with eligibility requirements from schools or districts of 40% low income students. The RFP stipulated that individual schools could request no more than $40,000 and districts no more than $100,000. Eligible entities may use these funds for AP or pre-AP programs, but must allocate 50 percent of any budget for contracted professional development offerings from the College Board.

These funds are currently appropriated annually as a new line in the ISBE budget. This grant may be refunded for a second and third year contingent on a sufficient appropriation from the Illinois Legislature for future years. Also contingent on funding and agency discussion, funded programs may have the opportunity to submit a budget for year 2 (FY07) and year 3 (FY08) for a continuation of the grant that reflects activities commensurate with this legislation and the on-going need for AP and pre-AP program support. The RFP indicated that all funds received under this grant would have to be used by June 30, 2006, but a subsequent decision was made to allow successful bidders to have until August 31, 2006 to engage in activities and utilize funds.

Proposals were evaluated by a panel of practitioners familiar with all aspects of Advanced Placement programs, as well as individuals familiar with challenges of low-income schools and districts.

The list of schools receiving grants, follows:

  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Infinity MST.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Youth Connections.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Kelvyn Park High School.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Wendell Phillips High School.
  • Sterling Community Unit District 5, Sterling High School.
  • Aurora East District 131, Cowherd, Simmons and Waldo Middle, East High.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Noble Network Charter Schools.
  • Astoria Community Unit School District 1.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Lane Tech.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, North Lawndale.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Foreman High School.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, EXCEL Academy.
  • Aurora West Unit School District 129.
  • Kankakee School District 111.
  • Springfield School District 186.
  • Galesburg Community Unit School District 205.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Prosser Career Academy.
  • Community High School District 218.
  • Community Unit School District 300.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, Harlan Community Academy High School.
  • South Holland School District 150, McKinley Junior High School.
  • Crete-Monee School District 201U.
  • School District U-46.
  • City of Chicago Schools 299, North Grand High School.
  • Sparta Community Unit School District 140.
  • Waukegan Public Schools District 60.
  • Peoria District 150, Peoria School District 150.
  • Decatur Public Schools District 61.

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