Monday, May 21, 2018

Vision 20/20 to refocus in summer of 2018

With new money flowing to schools across the state via the Evidence-Based Funding formula, Illinois Vision 20/20 will begin a process to refocus efforts on other public education priorities while continuing to advocate for the necessary dollars to meet adequacy targets for every school district.

“We’ve certainly made a lot of progress over the last few years in achieving the goals envisioned when Vision 20/20 was launched,” said IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy. “The Evidenced-Based Funding formula is obviously at the forefront of those accomplishments, but we’ve also worked to address teacher reciprocity and varied accountability in the Balanced Accountability pillar.”

Launched in the summer of 2013 with the goal of providing a more equitable and adequate education for children in every region of the state, the initiative has been a success in achieving many of its goals. The four pillars, Equitable and Adequate Funding, Highly Effective Educators, 21st Century Learning, and Shared Accountability, will remain but be repurposed with updated legislative proposals.

Eddy said Vision 20/20 architects and contributors from throughout the state will identify additional proposals to alleviate the ongoing teacher shortage, expand access to high-speed internet for districts, and suggest ways to improve school safety.

“It’s also important that we continue to monitor the initiatives that have been signed into law. For example, the new funding model is intended to get districts to 90 percent of their adequacy target in 10 years. To meet that goal, Illinois schools will need approximately $350 million in new education dollars each year added to the state budget while we also protect local revenue sources. It will be important for Vision 20/20 supporters to continue to advocate for that funding and show how the new formula is contributing to student success,” he added.

In addition to a refocused effort, Illinois Vision 20/20 has a new director. Ralph Grimm, a former superintendent of four western Illinois school districts, has indicated the initiative will have both short- and long-term goals. 

In a newsletter highlighting achievements of the campaign, Grimm announced plans to conduct a revisioning meeting in early August: “The purpose of the meeting will be threefold. First, the success of Vision 20/20 will be highlighted and celebrated. Second, participants will review the four pillars and the original concepts that were adopted for further action. Additional issues within each of the pillars will be identified for possible legislative action. Third, participants will identify those issues that should be moved forward for additional consideration.”

More information and updates on the initiative will be posted on the Illinois Vision 20/20 website and announced on Twitter @ILVision2020