As legislators in Springfield debated school funding in Senate Bill 16, a group made up of some of the state's largest education associations debuted its own education reform plan on Tuesday.
Vision 20/20 is the product of a two-year partnership among the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Principals Association, the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools.
The group met with the Daily Herald editorial board on Tuesday afternoon to discuss its ideas and the plan, which can be found in more detail at illinoisvision2020.org/.
The plan outlines key areas of policy recommendations that officials said they hope to implement in Illinois over the next four to six years. The four areas emphasize highly effective educators, 21st century learning, shared accountability and equitable and adequate school funding.
"This is about kids. This is about where we think education should go in the future," said Michael Jacoby, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.
The group is neutral on Senate Bill 16 because it does not believe the legislation to be in its final form, Jacoby said. But it will take a stand on it at some point, he said.
Members of the coalition said there is no clear dollar amount on the cost to implement all of their ideas, but that some, such as including current educators on the Illinois State Board of Education or creating teacher licensure reciprocity agreements with surrounding states, could be done without incurring any costs for the state.
Members of the coalition were headed to Springfield this week to discuss their ideas with legislators, but said they have not yet been able to meet with Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner.
After a series of events to unveil the plan, the members of the coalition said they hope to bring more associations and education groups on board and to see movement on some of their ideas in the Illinois legislature during the Spring legislative session.
"This is not going to go on a shelf. This is the game plan. This is just the beginning," Jacoby said.