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Advocacy Group Fights for Illinois Public Education

T.J. Carson
Monmouth-Roseville Superintendent Ed Fletcher said one of Illinois Vision 20/20's goals is to get public education on a two-year budget cycle

Educators in Illinois hope a large support group can deliver results in Springfield.

The initiative is called Illinois Vision 20/20. It began in 2012 when various education groups in the state came together to set a direction for improving public education.

The groups involved include:

  • Illinois Association of School Administrators
  • Illinois Association of School Business Officials
  • Illinois Principals Association
  • Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools
  • Illinois Association of School Boards
  • Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity

Illinois Vision 20/20 said it's received support from more than 360 school districts. In west central Illinois those districts include West Prairie, Abingdon-Avon, VIT, and Astoria.  In addition, the Macomb Board of Education voted this week to support the initiative.
Macomb Superintendent Patrick Twomey said Illinois Vision 20/20 will give educators a chance to control the message.

“For years, we’ve just stood by the sidelines and let the reformers bash teachers in public education.  And now, we’re going to be out there on the forefront, telling the facts about public education and how good it is here,” Twomey said.

Illinois Vision 20/20 plans to focus on a few issues during each legislative session.  One of this year's issues is funding equity.  It's being addressed through another attempt to pass legislation by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill)  that would provide more money for rural and poor districts.