School leaders will have the opportunity again to share their local education priorities directly with state legislators at the biennial Alliance Leadership Summit, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21-22, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.
In addition to meeting with General Assembly, participants will get a crash course in government advocacy, learn about the issues being discussed at the state level, and hear from public education advocates about what the future holds for public education in Illinois and at the national level.
The first Leadership Summit held in 2015 drew more than 600 school board members, superintendents, principals, and school business officials. This year’s event, hosted by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO), Illinois Principals Association (IPA), and Illinois School Boards Association (IASB), will offer a chance for district leadership teams to learn, plan, and engage lawmakers about the critical issues facing our public school system.
“With a new General Assembly, long-standing and new challenges to public education, and the prospects for shaping the future of public education in Illinois looming, this is the perfect time to rally local school leaders in the state Capitol,” said Roger Eddy, IASB executive director.
The agenda will focus on changes to the school funding formula, the state budget for the 2017-2018 school year, including the “Grand Bargain” proposal by the Illinois Senate. Eddy said participants should be prepared to take part in developing a school leadership strategy and carry that unified message to the state legislative leaders and governor.
On Tuesday, attendees will hear from State Superintendent Tony Smith and Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis. Other keynote speakers include former teacher, administrator, and author Jim Burgett, and Ralph Martire, school board member and executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.
Education leaders will also hear from Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance staff about effective messaging and strategy when meeting with legislators. Other panels include school funding reform commission, political analysis from Capitol journalists, and a TED Talk-style panel led by Illinois ASBO Executive Director Michael Jacoby.
On Wednesday, participants will travel to the statehouse to meet with legislators and other key staff. An opportunity to tour the Senate chambers will also be provided.
Registration for the two-day event is $165 and includes two lunches, breakfast Wednesday morning, and legislative reception Wednesday night. Housing is
available at five area hotels at block rates ranging from $86 to $101. A complete Leadership Summit schedule is posted on the IASA website. More details will be added as they are received.