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Illinois State Board of Education

Illinois State Board of Education / Facebook

Last August, when Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the historic school funding reform plan, the celebration was like the political version of a wedding. Lawmakers from both parties got dressed up, made lovely speeches, and posed for pictures next to that one cousin they never really liked.

Top officials of the state board of education declined to appear before a House committee yesterday to answer questions about costly perks being paid to the board’s superintendent, Tony Smith. Smith was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, and receives a stipend on top of his $225,000 salary. 

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is selling his budget plan as a way to better fund schools. But that money doesn't come right away.

Rich Egger

The Illinois State Board of Education will take care of a task that was supposed to be handled at the local level.

An Illinois House education panel okayed a plan that would change math standards for middle and high school students.

The measure was developed by Democratic Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon. It would require the State Board of Education to develop a curriculum that includes an extra year of math in high schools. Currently only three years are required by the state, though many schools already require four years.

Simon has visited each of the state's 48 community colleges and said she repeatedly heard students lacked math skills.