FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2003
OF ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF
EDUCATION CHAIRMAN RONALD J. GIDWITZ
Chicago - My term as Chairman of the Illinois State
Board of Education has expired and the Governor is expected
to appoint a new Chairman shortly. I will continue to serve
as Chairman until the new appointment is made and I will remain
a member of the board until my term expires in January 2005.
I am grateful for the privilege of having served as chairman
since April 1999. During that time, my colleagues and I have
made a number of accomplishments including:
- Streamlined the agency –a reduction in headcount
from 820 to 640 to more responsively, efficiently and cost-effectively
support Illinois' school districts;
- Brought more than $50 million in federal funds to Illinois
education that otherwise would have been lost;
- Developed and adopted a student-friendly plan to meet
the requirements of the federally mandated No Child Left
Behind Act (NCLB);
- Recruited a world-class educator as State Superintendent
– Dr. Robert Schiller – who is as an exceptional
leader and advocate for Illinois public education;
- Updated and improved Illinois’ assessment and accountability
- Advocated loudly and clearly to increase state funding
for K-12 education.
However, we, the people of Illinois, have a long road ahead
of us to truly make the education of our children second to
There is nothing more important in our society than our children.
That's why I personally launched and funded the Students First
I am honored that former U.S. Senator Paul Simon and thousands
of individual citizens from across the state are working with
Students First to protect the future of our children and the
future of the state of Illinois.
As a Board member, President and Founder of the Students
First Foundation, a parent and a private citizen who has invested
decades in our children, I will continue to work with the
State Board of Education, the General Assembly, the local
schools and most importantly serve Illinois' 2.2 million schoolchildren.