* We’re going to go through Gov. Rauner’s State of the State Address in a bit more detail today. Let’s start here…
We have ten long-term goals. This legislative session we will begin to:
1. Work closely with President Cullerton to significantly increase state support for education, focusing our additional resources more on low income and rural school districts so we can provide high quality classrooms in every community, without taking money away from any other districts.
2. Provide proper funding for early childhood education while setting rigorous benchmarks for program performance, so we can continue to be national leaders in this important work.
3. Give school districts more flexibility when it comes to bargaining, contracting, and bidding, to save taxpayers money, while enabling districts to pay higher teacher salaries.
4. Empower our universities and community colleges to reduce their administrative costs, work rules, pension liabilities and unfunded mandates, and then offer additional financial support to those schools that show real progress in putting more resources in the classroom.
5. Support more partnerships between high schools, community colleges, and local employers so that our young people who are not going to university, can receive the training to step into good paying careers beginning in their teenage years.
6. Develop a comprehensive, consistent, objective student growth measure, not necessarily based on the PARCC system, so we can track our students’ progress in each grade towards college or career, holding our schools accountable for results while eliminating unnecessary testing and bureaucratic mandates.
7. Support programs that create more quality school choice options for low income children stuck in failing schools.
8. Create new quality schools of choice for our disconnected youth as a way to get them back in school.
9. Consolidate the majority of our councils and task forces under the P20 and Early Learning Councils, in order to decrease bureaucracy, increase high-quality outcomes for our learners, and improve the coordination of these working groups.
10. Create a Cabinet on Children and Youth so we can better align our health and human services with our cradle to career education initiatives, in order to provide higher quality, fully integrated services for our young people.