By Joshua Dwyer -
Despite increased funding over the past 10 years, most Illinois elementary schools and high schools still struggle to teach students the basics of reading and math.
Some of this is due to laws that allow poor-performing teachers to stay in classrooms, but most is due to the structure of Illinois’ education system itself.
Here are 10 education facts about Illinois you should know:
1. Illinois education funding grew at a rapid pace between 1993 and 2012: federal funding grew 4.1 times to $3.6 billion, state funding grew 2.7 times to $9.3 billion and local funding grew 2.6 times to $15.8 billion.
3. Only 7 percent of Illinois’ 876 school districts attempted to fire a tenured teacher from 1987 to 2005.
4. Teachers in the Chicago Public Schools system make an average salary of $74,990 a year – the highest of any city in U.S.
5. 41 percent of Illinois elementary school students are unable to do grade-level work in math and reading.
6. 47 percent of Illinois high school students are unable to do grade-level work in math and reading.
7. 54 percent of Illinois high school students are not ready for college, according to the ACT.
8. More than 20 percent of students at Chicago’s worst elementary schools are significantly behind grade level in reading, meaning they have a difficult time determining the main idea of a persuasive essay or plot of a short story.
9. Nearly half of all students at Chicago’s worst high schools are significantly behind grade level in math, meaning they can’t solve simple algebraic equations.
10. 45 percent of CPS graduates begin their senior year not doing well enough academically to attend a four-year college. After graduating, a majority of these students are neither employed nor in school.
Joshua Dwyer is Director of Education Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute