News

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2007

ISBE, Arts Council team up to strengthen arts and foreign language programs
26 school districts to split more than $625,000 in planning grants

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council (IAC), announced today more than $625,000 in planning grants to strengthen local arts and foreign language programs. Twenty-six school districts across Illinois will receive the planning grants that range from $9,000 to $40,000, depending on the size of district, the scope of the program, and the level of planning required.

“We’re proud to partner with the Illinois Arts Council in providing assistance to districts that want to improve their arts and foreign language offerings.” said Christopher Koch, Interim State Superintendent. “The arts and foreign language play a strong role in providing our students with an overall education and these planning grants allow school districts to have additional resources to plan for initiating, expanding, or improving instruction in the arts or foreign language.”

The Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program, a partnership between ISBE and the IAC, will assist districts with engaging in a planning process to develop new or strengthen existing arts and foreign language curricula. This is the second year for the program which was developed based on results of a 2005 study revealing broad disparities in the amount of arts education students receive across the state. The study found that 20 percent of Illinois principals reported having no arts program of any kind in their school.

“The arts are a powerful engine in developing students' creative faculties, dramatically increasing their desire and ability to learn,” said Terry A. Scrogum, IAC Executive Director. “Statewide planning grants are a significant step toward cultivating long-term sustainability for arts education programs in the public schools. This continuing work with the Illinois State Board of Education aims to empower Illinoisans through arts and foreign language education to achieve their greatest potential – both in school and throughout their lives.”

Arts/
Language
Name of School District
Grant
A
Triopia CUSD 27 (Concord)
$10,493
A
Kankakee School District 111
$40,000
A
Winnebago CUSD 323
$23,348
A
Peoria PSD 150
$40,000
A
Springfield PSD 186
$40,000
A
Morton West HSD 201 (Berwyn)
$38,335
A
Evanston CCSD 65
$40,000
A
Community HSD 218 (Oak Lawn)
$10,103
A
Farrington CCSD 99
$20,360
A
Central CUSD 301 (Burlington)
$10,000
A
Belvidere CUSD 100
$20,851
A
Opdyke-Belle Rive Grade School CCSD 5
$10,535
A
CUSD 303 (Saint Charles)
$33,045
A
Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter (Chicago)
$10,000
A
Country Club Hills SD 160
$33,004
A
Anna Elementary 37
$14,294
A
McLean County Unit 5 (Normal)
$40,000
A
Harlem CSD 122 (Machesney Park)
$40,000
FL
Township HSD 113 (Highland Park)
$9,000
FL
Barrington CUSD 220
$10,000
FL
Prairie Grove CSD 46 (Crystal Lake)
$25,919
FL
Harvard CUSD 50
$20,328
FL
Fairfield PSD 112
$10,137
FL
Danville School District 118
$30,786
FL
Meridian CUSD 223 (Stillman Valley)
$23,042
FL
Rochelle Township HSD 212
$23,325

School districts awarded grants demonstrated a great need for additional funding for their arts and foreign language programs and the ability to develop successfully a comprehensive plan to strengthen their arts education or foreign language programs. Grant recipients also detailed plans to implement their plans in future years with local funds.

Implementation grant requests are currently under review for the purpose of introducing or expanding instruction in the arts or foreign language and for developing means of continuing the funded program with local and other resources after the conclusion of the three year grant period. Receipt of a Planning Grant is not a prerequisite to eligibility for implementation funding. However, all applicants must demonstrate that a comprehensive planning process has occurred with respect to the program being proposed.