Illinois State Board Of Education

Illinois State Board Of Education | What We Do

The Illinois State Board of Education, more commonly known as the ISBE, administers public education in the state of Illinois. The board fulfills its mission to students and their families by providing high-quality public education through more than 880 school districts in the state. The ISBE also sets education policy and provides support to both students and educators in order to help them succeed inside the classroom and beyond the walls of their school.

What is the purpose of the Illinois State Board of Education?

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is an autonomous state agency. The ISBE is responsible for a wide range of activities related to public education in Illinois. The ISBE’s vision is to provide leadership that ensures all students receive a quality education consistent with their potential and needs; one that enables them to achieve college and career readiness and be productive citizens who contribute to society, while making their communities better places to live.

The organization’s mission statement is: The mission of the State Board of Education (ISBE) is to ensure high quality student learning experiences through participation in policy development, research, evaluation and advocacy; promote equitable educational opportunities so all children may reach their full potential in preparation for life as productive citizens.

Why does have an elected state board? In 1870, The General Assembly adopted legislation establishing a three-member Illinois State Board of Education. The law was changed in 1875 to provide for a five-member board with no more than three members from any one congressional district.

In 1933, voters approved a constitutional amendment extending terms to six years two terms and establishing staggered elections so that not all members would be up for election at one time. Following another change made by voters in 1967, since then, only teachers have been eligible for membership on both boards. Finally, in 1974, yet another amendment expanded representation to include men and women from each of four geographic regions.

For nearly 150 years following its initial adoption of what has become known as the grand compromise between urban and rural legislators regarding funding public schools, State Board of Education has had a system where local districts are responsible for maintaining K-12 education within their geographic boundaries; however, state government has always had an important role with districts through oversight authority delegated through laws passed by our legislature.

To carry out that responsibility, those groups charged with governing under state law include the governor appointed statewide advisory council general assembly Appropriations.

Committee School Code Commission (commission composed entirely of lawmakers who meet prior to legislative sessions Office of Budget and Management/Department of Central Management Services Bureau of Educational Research/Institute for Educational Inquiry Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Health/Executive Mansion Fitness Center Advisory Committee.

State Board of Education charge includes: overseeing public school operations, setting academic standards and assessment requirements, approving curriculum materials and administering incentive programs aimed at improving student performance while ensuring accountability. As mentioned earlier only teachers are represented on both governing bodies.

How many people are on the Illinois State Board of Education?

The Illinois State Board of Education is made up of 9 members. Five members are appointed by Governor Bruce Rainer, one member is appointed by Senate President John Fullerton, and three members are appointed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. In addition to their board appointments, each member serves on a specific committee. These committees are listed below Accountability, Curriculum & Instruction, Early Childhood & School Age Care Licensing, Economic & Workforce Development, Elementary Secondary Teaching Service Licensing, Financial Oversight Panel for Charter Schools and School Finance Appeals Committee.

How is a new school created in Illinois and how does it get accredited? The ISBE accredits all non-public schools in Illinois and some public schools as well. Accreditation provides schools with clear standards for educational quality, helps parents make informed decisions about where to send their children for education, and allows students access to certain state financial aid programs. New schools must also be approved by an area board before they can begin offering instruction.

Who is the director of the Illinois State Board of Education?

The current director is Andrea Durbin. Mrs. Durbin was appointed to Director in 2012 by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Before becoming director, she worked for several public and private education agencies including Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University. She has a bachelor’s degree from Dominican University, a master’s degree from Roosevelt University, and completed all coursework toward her PhD at Roosevelt before moving into public education.

Illinois State Board of Nebraska Department of Education Durbin expressed interest in legislation addressing student mental health. In April 2017, Representative Linda Chapa Latvia proposed legislation requiring school districts to adopt policies related to suicide prevention training, identification and intervention procedures relating to students with suicidal ideation or behavior.

It can be prevented if kids are identified early enough that they get connected with their support system, Latvia said. And there needs to be something in place so that parents know what resources are available.  The State Board of Education is responsible for assuring that all students graduate from high school ready for success in post-secondary education or employment.


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