The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on Wednesday approved its fiscal year 2021 budget recommendation for public education statewide. ISBE recommends a $760 million increase in General Funds for public education for a total investment of $9.64 billion. The request includes a $100 million increase for early childhood programs to build on the historic investments in last year’s budget and help advance the goal of making Illinois the best state in the nation for families raising young children. ISBE will deliver its budget recommendation to Governor JB Pritzker and the General Assembly.
ISBE’s request also includes $43.75 million for high-impact investments in the teaching profession to elevate the recruitment and retention of diverse and effective educators.
As a state, Illinois is committed to becoming the best place in the nation for families raising young children, with the nation’s best early childhood education and childcare,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “I make this promise – as state superintendent, as a mother and a grandmother, and as a former kindergarten teacher – for every single child in Illinois to have high quality early learning programs that help them develop the cognitive and social-emotional skills that they need to be successful.
Governor Pritzker's FY 2020 budget included the largest appropriation for early childhood in Illinois history. ISBE’s recommended increase of $100 million for FY 2021 will allow Early Childhood Block Grant programs to serve approximately 10,775 more children from birth to age 5.
I also make a commitment to Illinois’ current and future teachers: We will invest in our profession,” said Ayala. “The work of our teachers in the classroom is where the magic happens. Our teachers love their students and love their jobs, and we promise to invest in them and their work in return.
The $43.75 million that ISBE recommends for investments in the teaching profession includes:
- $15 million – Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois, which provides tuition assistance for academically talented students, especially students of color, to earn teaching degrees; and Golden Apple Accelerators, which provides a path to teaching for career-changers with a bachelor’s degrees.
- $10 million – Career and Technical Education programs that support high school students in gaining college credit and hands-on experience leading toward careers in teaching.
- $9 million – High-quality teacher and principal mentoring programs, which can reduce turnover by 50 percent.
- $2.5 million – Future Teachers Program, which creates pathways for students to pursue careers in bilingual education, while simultaneously earning the State Seal of Biliteracy.
- $2.5 million – Recruitment of individuals of color to participate in educator pathways and teacher preparation programs, as part of the Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers initiative.
- $2 million – Teach for America (TFA), which recruits, places, and supports teachers in schools serving low-income students. TFA has committed to at least 50 percent of the teachers it places in FY 2021 being teachers of color.
- $1.5 million – National Board Certification, which supports experienced educators in growing as practitioners.
- $1 million – Educators Rising, which is a student organization that supports aspiring teachers and their mentors.
- $200,000 – Stipend and expenses for the Illinois Teacher of the Year.
- $50,000 – Illinois School Psychologist Internship Consortium, which connects districts and other entities to students who are preparing to serve as school psychologists.
In addition to targeted investments in early childhood programs and the teaching profession, ISBE recommends a $510 million increase for Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) in FY 2021 to accelerate the state’s progress toward adequately funding every school district. Governor Pritzker's budget last year exceeded the required
ISBE’s budget recommendation also includes $3.3 million across FY 2020 and 2021 for the agency to establish the Student Care Department, which will continue analyzing and investigating instances of time out and restraint in Illinois schools. The department will be dedicated to receiving and addressing any concerns about student safety and wellbeing going forward.
More than 350 submissions from educators, parents, families, and community advocates informed ISBE’s FY 2021 budget recommendation. ISBE hosted four hearings in East St. Louis, Bloomington, Mt. Vernon, and Chicago to gather feedback.
View ISBE’s full budget recommendation at www.isbe.net/budget.