Message From State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch
Last week state legislators met in Springfield for veto session. They took action on a number of items, but no major issues impacting education were finalized.
The House held a hearing to discuss Senate Bill 16, legislation that would alter the way education funding is distributed in Illinois. Nine panels presented testimony regarding the legislation and more than 10,000 people submitted witness slips online in support or in opposition to the bill. The agency provided testimony expressing our appreciation that lawmakers are studying the formula, but our concern is that more work needs to be done. The bill's sponsor will not move forward with the bill during veto or lame duck sessions. It is likely that it will be a significant part of the discussion during the spring legislative session.
Over the weekend Dave Dickson of Grant Park CUSD 6 was named the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award. ISBE created the award for school board presidents in 1991 to honor Thomas Lay Burroughs, who served as chairman of the State Board of Education and the Board of Education for the Collinsville School District. The award recognizes extraordinary educational leadership at the local level, including leadership:
• on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence;
• in resolving a crisis or major difficulty; and
• on behalf of equal education opportunities.
Dickson has served on the Grant Park CUSD 6 Board for more than eight years, including five years as president. Grant Park is a unit district located in central-eastern Illinois, approximately 60 miles south of Chicago. The district serves more than 500 students in grades pre-K to 12.
As we prepare for the holidays, Governor Quinn invites elementary school students across Illinois to help spread a little cheer this season by making holiday cards for our injured service members. Each year before the General Assembly reconvenes, Governor Quinn has made it a priority to personally deliver greeting cards from Illinois schoolchildren as a thank you to the troops for their courageous service. Governor Quinn welcomes your students to share in this holiday tradition.
Cards can be sent to:
Office of Governor Pat Quinn
Attn: Holiday Cards to Troops Program
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph Street, Suite 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
• Holiday cards of all types are welcome (i.e., Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, etc.)
• Cards created by grade school students only.
• Cards should be no larger than a regular 8.5x11 piece of paper.
• Cards may be handmade or computer generated.
• Stack cards neatly and bundle with rubber bands.
• Include one index card with your school's name and mailing address.
• Cards Only - We are unable to accept items other than holiday cards.
Cards must be received no later than Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Any questions about Governor Quinn's Holiday Cards to Troops Program can be directed to GOV.Cards4troops@illinois.gov.