Governor-elect JB Pritzker has assembled a team to tackle education issues across the state, he announced Tuesday morning, dubbing it the Educational Success Transition Committee.
The promise? Raising the educational standards for every student in Illinois from kindergarten through 12th grade up through college.
“It’s time to change course in this state," Pritzker said.
He announced his latest transition committee at Genevieve Melody STEM Elementary School Tuesday morning along with other committee members like co-chair and Chicago Public Schools CEo Janice Jackson.
“We must acknowledge the fact that not every single student in every community has access to the same education," Jackson said. "And we intend to fix that--not only in our city--but throughout the great state of Illinois.”
The 35-person working group is co-chaired by Jackson, Sen. Andy Manar, Rep. Chris Welch and Kathi Griffin of the Illinois Education Association.
“We’re gonna take a deep dive and we’re gonna delve into the root issues and present possible solutions for this new administration," Welch said.
“I’m excited to work with the leaders that are not just standing here today but have been recruited to work on this committee from throughout the state," Manar said.
High on the agenda: investments in infrastructure, charter schools, a more equitable funding formula as well as a promise to have educators on the front line of the policy debate.
“It’s the kind of agenda Illinois needs to get back on track for the sake of students and teachers," Griffin said.
The big question is money. Pritzker says a capital bill would be forthcoming.
“You do have to turn the ship in the right direction and then propel it in that direction," he added. "And that takes a little bit of time.
The committee will work on preparing a comprehensive education report which is expect on the governor-elect’s desk around inauguration day in mid-January.