News

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2007

ISBE/Arts Council work together to boost public school Arts and Foreign Language programs


27 school districts to split implementation grants totaling more than $2 million

SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Arts Council (IAC), today announced grants to expand Arts and Foreign Language programming at public schools worth more than $2 million. Twenty-seven school districts across the state will receive the implementation grants that range from $22,000 to $100,000, depending on the size of the district, the scope of the program and the level of planning required.

“The arts and foreign language play a strong role in providing our students with a well rounded education and we’re proud to work with the Arts Council to improve these programs at our public schools,” said Christopher Koch, State Superintendent of Education. “These implementation grants give school districts additional resources to expand and improve instruction in these core areas of education.”

The Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program, a partnership between ISBE and the IAC, help districts to develop or strengthen arts and foreign language curricula. This is the second year for the program which was developed based on results of a 2005 study revealing broad disparities in the amount of arts education students receive across the state. The study found that 20 percent of Illinois principals reported having no arts programs of any kind in their schools.

“The arts are a powerful engine in developing students’ creative faculties, dramatically increasing their desire and ability to learn,” said Terry A. Scrogum, IAC Executive Director. “Statewide planning grants are a significant step toward cultivating long-term sustainability for arts education programs in the public schools. Implementation grants take the critical next step, bringing goals to fruition. Without this kind of support, even the most carefully planned projects face often insurmountable barriers to success. This continuing partnership with ISBE aims to empower Illinoisans through arts and foreign language education so they may achieve their greatest potential—both in school and throughout their lives.”

Name of
School District
Arts
Foreign
Language
Funding
Recommendation
Alton Community School District 11
X
 
$99,680
Aurora West Unit School District 129
 
X
$100,000
Bellwood School District 88
X
 
$95,700
Blue Ridge CUSD 18
X
 
$47,047
CCSD 59 (Arlington Heights)
X
 
$100,000
Chicago Public Schools District 299
 
X
$100,000
Chicago Public Schools District 299
X
 
$100,000
CUD 300 (Carpentersville)
 
X
$100,000
Desoto CCSD 86
 
X
$22,923
Egyptian CUSD 5
X
 
$45,260
Kewanee CUSD 229
X
 
$96,588
Matteson SD 162
X
 
$100,000
Midwest Central Unit District 191
 
X
$89,850
Moline School District 40
 
X
$100,000
Oregon Community USD 220
X
 
$34,701
Polo Community School District 222
X
 
$24,683
Raccoon CSD #1
X
 
$100,000
Richmond Burton Comm. HS District 157
 
X
$99,900
Ridgeland School District 122
 
X
$100,000
Riverton CUD 14
X
 
$35,901
Rockford PSD 205
 
X
$100,000
Salem Community HS 600
X
 
$100,000
Schaumburg CCSD 54
 
X
$72,565
Warren Township HSD 121
X
 
$100,000
Wauconda CUSD 118
X
 
$100,000
West Central CUSD 235
X
 
$65,280
Woodstock CUSD 200
 
X
$50,483
Total Funding Request
 
 
$2,180,561

School districts receiving implementation grants demonstrated a great need for additional funding for their arts and foreign language programs and the ability to develop successfully a comprehensive plan to strengthen their arts education or foreign language programs. Grant recipients also acknowledged the central role of qualified staff in relevant curricular areas and included strategies for determining how these positions will be staffed.

As a component of the grant proposal, districts identified a plan to allocate district resources as well as secure additional resources from local organizations, businesses and governmental agencies for sustaining a new or enhanced arts or foreign language program in the future.