Education & Schools
Classrooms First legislation overwhelmingly passes House of Representatives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kara Beach   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:39

CARBONDALE – March 22, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon applauded the House of Representatives for passing Classrooms First Commission legislation that will make it easier for school districts to voluntarily consolidate. House Bill 2267, sponsored by Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), passed with a strong vote of 106-3 and now moves to the Senate for consideration

Simon, the state’s point person on education reform, chaired the bipartisan Classrooms First Commission, which examined ways to help school districts reduce duplicative spending and improve educational offerings. The resulting legislation approved by the House would allow non-contiguous school districts to consolidate, for faster reorganizations in some qualifying districts and high school districts to tie consolidation dates to capital funding.

“It is important that school districts throughout the state have the tools they need in order to help students succeed. This legislation will put our students – not bureaucracy – first,” said Simon. “I would like to thank Rep. Gordon-Booth for her leadership in moving this bill through the House, and I look forward to working with Sen. Andy Manar and members of the Senate to send this bill to the governor’s desk.” 

The Classrooms First Commission was comprised of P-20 stakeholders including teachers, administrators, legislators and parents, and it held public hearings across the state on school district consolidation last year. You can learn more about the commission’s recommendations here.

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Lt. Governor Reynolds’s Military Children Education Coalition Resolution Receives Overwhelming Support at NLGA Meeting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:38

(DES MOINES)  – Today, the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) adopted Lt. Gov. Reynolds’s sponsored resolution in support of the Military Children Education Coalition (MCEC) during the annual federal-state relations meeting in Washington, D.C.

“I am pleased that the MCEC resolution received full support at the NLGA meeting, and I thank my colleagues for their support of such an important issue facing all of our states,” said Reynolds, who co-chairs Iowa’s Military Children Education Coalition with Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, the Adjutant General of Iowa. “Military children face extreme challenges and hardship and it’s important that as Lt. Governors we support the loved ones of those protecting our freedom and our country. We want to encourage academic achievement, and promote college, career and life-readiness for our military children.”

The resolution, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, recognizes MCEC for its singular work on behalf of our nation’s military children and encourages states to work to implement academic Common Core Standards. Also, the resolution encourages states to work with MCEC in the areas of policy creation that strengthen resilience, create positive relationships and encourage academic achievement.

MCEC has worked since 1998 to ameliorate the impact of the challenges presented to military children by frequent moves, parental deployments and long-term effects of a parent returning from war.

The full resolution can be viewed here: http://nlga.us/web-content/Conferences/FedState2013/Military%20Childrens%20Education%20Coalition_March%202013.pdf

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Jen Dawkins, MHS Student, named National Merit Scholarship Finalist PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by M. McNeil   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:35
(Moline, IL)  Recently, Jennifer Dawkins, senior at Moline High School was named National Merit Scholarship Finalist. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that begins in a student’s sophomore year when students take the PSAT exam. Eligible students must have a consistent record of very high academic performance throughout their entire high school career, plan on enrolling as a full-time college student, be a citizen of the United States and be endorsed by a designated high school official. In October of 2012, approximately 1,500,000 students entered the competition. From there, 50,000 High Scores are advanced to ‘qualification statuses’. In September of 2013, approximately two-thirds of these students are recognized as ‘Commended Students’.  Last August, Ms. Dawkins was recognized as being part of the other third that advanced to the Semi-Finalist level. Recently, Jen was informed that she has, once again advanced to the Finalist level and will be a recipient of either a Special Scholarship or Merit Scholarship. 1,300 Special Scholarships will be awarded by corporate sponsors. 8,300 Merit Scholarship winners will be awarded one of three types of National Merit Scholarships. The winners of these scholarships will be announced in April, May, and July.

As a student at Moline High School, Jen has made numerous efforts to improve the culture of our school. She has a natural heart for looking after others, and she serves others wherever is able. In her efforts to help, she has volunteered at our Special Olympics and has been involved with National Honor Society. As a member of NHS, Jen has collaboratively worked with other members of our school to raise money to clothe children in need this past holiday season. In addition to impacting student needs, Jen’s passion for health occupations has led her to initiate the idea of starting a Health Occupation Students of America chapter for our school. Thanks to her efforts, our staff has begun taking steps to add this program to our extra-curricular activities. This chapter will be highly beneficial for future students wishing to pursue work in the health field.

Not only is Jen an outstanding citizen, she is an exceptional athlete! She has been a highly sought after tutor and mentor to her cross-country teammates. She has been capable of managing her time and efforts in order to assist her teammates on and off the practice fields. Her cross-country coach, Tauwon Taylor, said, “She has strong leadership skills and is determined to be successful! She is captain of the cross-country team and leads by example. Her determination and work ethic helped her team win the conference title four years in a row!” In addition to all of these successes, Jen has participated in youth activities at Our Savior Lutheran Church, participates in multiple road races, and finds time to bake, workout, and spend time with friends and family. In the fall, Jennifer plans on attending a four-year college to major in Bio-medical Engineering.

 
Madison Logan Studies Abroad Through the 'Augustana In Australia' Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Keri Rursch   
Friday, 22 March 2013 13:21

ROCK ISLAND, IL (03/21/2013)(readMedia)-- Fifty Augustana College students studied and worked in Sydney, Australia, for the first two months of 2013. The international study program known as "Augustana in Australia" places students in career-relevant positions in Sydney and immerses them in Australian culture. Over 250 students have participated in the program in the last seven years.

Madison Logan from Moline, Ill., was among the participants. Logan is a junior at Augustana and is majoring in communication sciences and disorders and psychology. Logan interned at The Lizard Centre.

The students completed a five-week on-campus internship seminar and a complimentary class in either intercultural communication or business ethics before leaving for Australia on January 2. Once in Australia, students worked for a variety of employers in numerous fields – from healthcare to education and from hospitality to non-profit work.

During their trip, the students also visited the ANZ Stadium, where the 2000 Olympics were held; the Sydney Opera House; and the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. Some students traveled to New Zealand and other areas of Australia, including Melbourne, Darwin and Cairns, where they were able to snorkel and dive the Great Barrier Reef. Students returned to the United States on March 2.

According to Karen M. Petersen, Augustana's director of business internships and the Australia program's director, "The highlight of the Australia internship program is the personal growth students experience by integrating into a totally new culture – both personally and professionally."

At Augustana, students choosing to intern or study abroad can receive financial support from the college thanks to a program launched in 2009 called Augie Choice. Focused on advancing student learning in the liberal arts in alignment with the college's strategic plan, Augie Choice grants students in their junior year or beyond the opportunity to receive a one-time grant of $2,000 to offset the expenses of study abroad, an internship or research project. Augie Choice funding is a visible symbol of the college's commitment to experiential learning as a way of preparing students to stand out among their peers.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Alumni include 140 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 14 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world's most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.

 
REP. SMIDDY INVITES LOCAL EDUCATORS, PARENTS TO EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Friday, 22 March 2013 12:55
PORT BYRON, IL – State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) invites local educators, parents, and advocates to
attend the upcoming meeting of his Education Citizens Advisory Committee on Tuesday, March 26 from 3:15
p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Riverdale High School Library, located at 9622 256th St. N in Port Byron.

“Improving educational opportunities for our children is very important to me, especially as a father of two
young sons in the local public education system,” said Smiddy. “Collaborating with dedicated parents and the
teachers who spend every day in the classroom helps me better understand the complex issues and challenges
we must address in Springfield. Education is the key to a strong community.”

Illinois’ 71st District includes all of Albany, Cleveland, Coal Valley, Colona, Como, Cordova, Deer Grove, Erie,
Fulton, Hampton, Hillsdale, Lyndon, Morrison, Port Byron, Prophetstown, Rapids City, Rock Falls, Savanna,
Sterling, Tampico, and Thomson and portions of Carbon Cliff, East Moline, Moline and Silvis.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, contact Smiddy’s full-time
constituent service office at (309) 848-9098, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or toll-free at (855) 243-4988.

 
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