State School Board Dumped?

By: Jason Laning
By: Jason Laning

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Ryan says he'll introduce a state amendment to abolish the state Board of Education if he's elected.

Right now, the state board is a separate entity of the state. Supporters say under the new legislation, the board would be held more accountable for education in Illinois.

The number of changes to local schools is outweighed by the power shift the legislation would make in state education administration.

The nine-member state Board of Education panel is chosen by the governor and Illinois senate, then the panel appoints the Board Chairman on their own.

Under Ryan’s plan, the entire board would be under the control of the governor.

Ryan would directly appoint the state CEO of education, who would oversee a newly created cabinet level department of education.

We talked with state Senator Dave Syverson, he says because the state Board of Education currently answers to no one, they have full power to change testing protocol, issue grants to whoever they want, and in some cases shift funding.

Grant funding, and who wins state grants could be the biggest change for schools in the Rockford School District.

Again if Ryan is elected and the legislation passes, he would take the blame for districts struggling to educate kids, you could only guess he'd be extremely focused on improving struggling school districts.

Another interesting twist for the Rockford area, it's been rumored Rockford School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Brown is up for the top seat with the state Board of Education.

Under the new legislation the Chairman of the Board would be appointed directly by the governor.

We tried to contact Dr. Brown Wednesday; he did not return our phone calls.


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