SOURCE: Illinois Education Association

Illinois Education Association

August 24, 2010 16:49 ET

UPDATE: Illinois Education Association Statement on the U.S. Department of Education Announcement on Second Round Race to the Top Recipients

SPRINGFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - August 24, 2010) -  Statement from Ken Swanson, president Illinois Education Association:

"We are very disappointed that Illinois is not among the recipients of the newest round of federal education grants.

"IEA worked in good faith with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop a Race to the Top application that would help support students and teachers. 

"We will be very interested to hear an explanation as to how Illinois, which was the fifth place finisher in the first round, could be left out of a second round that saw 10 grants awarded.

"This certainly puts a spotlight on a problem with the concept of competitive grants.

"Teachers and administrators in districts around the state spent a lot of time and energy developing, with ISBE, documents and materials needed as part of the application.

"IEA worked collaboratively with all education stakeholders to develop an application that was in keeping with our principles and values while putting Illinois in a position to receive the much-needed grant dollars.

"We worked hard for the grants because our students need that support, particularly in this current state budget crisis. That is why today's news is so profoundly disappointing.

"Despite this setback, the IEA commitment to providing every student in Illinois with a high quality education is unwavering. We will continue to push for education improvement but it must be remembered that the ability to improve will be limited as long as public education remains inadequately funded.

"Denying Illinois these Race to the Top grant dollars is a tough blow to our state's children that will hamper our ability to improve student achievement."

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Charles McBarron
    800/252-8076 or 217/544-0706