SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is asking educators, parents, students, and community organizations to give their input on state funding for public education. ISBE is accepting testimony in writing and at three virtual budget hearings in October. ISBE wants to hear from communities across the state about what investments will best support student learning, improve learning conditions, and elevate educators, especially as schools continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Illinois’ students are starting a school year unlike any other, with a global pandemic exacerbating inequity in our state,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Testimony at past hearings has led to investments in innovative teacher preparation programs and continued funding for parent mentoring and after-school programs. Now more than ever, we need our school leaders, classroom teachers, parents, and community advocates to tell us what investments would make the biggest difference for their students.”
The input ISBE receives will inform the agency’s advocacy for equitable funding for all students in fiscal year 2022. ISBE will submit its recommendation for state education funding to Governor JB Pritzker and the General Assembly in January.
Individuals wishing to participate must submit their testimony in writing by completing the online form at www.isbe.net/budget. Individuals are welcome also to speak at one of three virtual budget hearings. ISBE will give equal consideration to all written and oral testimony.
ISBE will host virtual hearings:
Several state agencies and boards have partnered to create a map of drive-up Wi-Fi hotspot locations around the state at www.ildceo.net/wifi to enable anyone who needs such access to participate in the virtual hearings.
All of these hearings are accessible to persons with disabilities and to persons speaking languages other than English. Persons planning to participate who need real-time captioning services should contact the ISBE superintendent’s office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Persons planning to participate who need real-time translation services should contact the ISBE superintendent’s office no later than two weeks prior to the meeting. Contact the ISBE superintendent's office by phone at (217) 782-2221 or by TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900.