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.”
Among school districts in our area:
Oregon Community USD 220
Polo Community School District 222
Funding recommendation: $24,683
Rockford PSD 205
Funding recommendation: $100,000