Community Consolidated School District 21 school board member Phil Pritzker joined more than 750 school board members and state school board association leaders in Washington, D.C., in early February to advocate for strong public schools for all students.
Pritzker, vice president of the Illinois Association of School Boards, participated in the National School Boards Association's Leadership Conference and Advocacy Institute and encouraged elected officials to support public education and local school governance.
"We need strong public schools to ensure that our students in District 21 and throughout the state are well prepared for college and careers in today's rapidly changing global economy," Pritzker said.
"As school board members, we need to add our local expertise to the conversations in Washington to ensure that new policies are beneficial to all of our students."
In meetings with Senator Mark Kirk and Representatives Tammy Duckworth and Brad Schneider, Pritzker and other IASB members requested accelerated investments in public education that support local efforts to continue to raise student achievement, and to appropriate full funding for Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates.
Pritzker also highlighted multiple national and regional polls, where the vast majority of parents have stated that their local schools are doing a wonderful job, but are worried about federal and state actions that attempt to override local control.
Pritzker urged each elected official to support H.R. 1386, "The Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act," to ensure maximum local flexibility in decision making by local boards of education rather than from the U.S. Department of Education.
"Local school boards understand the needs of their communities and schools and work to serve the best interests of our school districts," Pritzker said. "We need Congress and the U.S. Department of Education to work with us to ensure that all students are receiving the best education we can provide."
Pritzker, a Wheeling resident, is the longest serving member of the CCSD21 Board of Education.