Tuesday, August 14, 2018

School board members help refocus
Illinois Vision 20/20

Representatives from the six founding organizations of Illinois Vision 20/20 met August 9 in Springfield to review legislative accomplishments and determine areas of focus going forward.

The public policy platform was formed in 2013 to help guide educators, legislators, and other stakeholders to work together toward the common goal of fulfilling the promise of public education in Illinois. Specific policy proposals were developed around four priorities: highly effective educators, 21st century learning, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding.

The Illinois Association of School Boards was among the founding organizations that also included the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principal’s Association, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, and Superintendents Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.

“To be in the room with so many of the original drafters of Vision 20/20 discussing the accomplishments of the initiative was invigorating,” said IASB President Joanne Osmond. “The leaders of the various organizations know what is important to ensure adequate and equitable education for all children in Illinois.”

Representing school boards at the meeting were President Joanne Osmond (Lake Villa CCSD 41), Vice President Tom Neeley (Morton CUSD 709), division directors Linda Eades (Northwestern CUSD 2), Simon Kampwerth (Peru ESD 124), Denis Ryan (CHSD 230), Barbara Somogyi (Elk Grove CCSD 59), and Mary Stith (Geneva CUSD 304), and Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

School board representatives attending were, from left to right, Tom Neeley, Mary Stith,
Barbara Somogyi, Simon Kampwerth, Joanne Osmond, Denis Ryan, Linda Eades,
and IASB Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

While much has been accomplished, the participants identified areas where work still needs to be done. They also shared ideas on how new issues can be defined within each of the four pillars.

Osmond added: “In five years we accomplished what many thought was impossible and brought both political parties to the table in agreement to implement a new more equitable funding model for education. The conversation drifted to what's next in accountability, shared accountability, and a safe school for every child to attend and learn.”

The meeting was facilitated by ECRA Group, Inc., a third-party educational consulting firm. Outcomes from the meeting will provide guidance for developing new policy proposals that continue the momentum of Illinois Vision 20/20. Information and updates on the initiative will be posted on the Illinois Vision 20/20 website.