September 1st, 2015
It has been a very positive week for rural schools in Illinois and the AIRSS organization. In what was billed as a meeting to discuss and define a shared vision for rural schools, Executive Director Dave Ardrey was honored to sit down with Governor Rauner, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti and Emily Bastedo - who will lead the Governors education policy team.
The Friday morning meeting held at the Governors office in Chicago yielded a strong conversation regarding the challenges facing our rural schools and communities and the children they serve. The focus of the agenda was to discuss a number of items including teacher shortages, children living in hunger, opportunities to enhance career and technical education and broadband access to rural communities. From the intentional and direct conversation came a commitment from the group to focus on developing a vision around these issues and the action plan going forward. " I am proud of the work AIRSS has done in establishing our priorities and I could not be more pleased with the Governor, Lt. Governor and education policy leader's willingness to meet and engage in the conversation to support our rural schools and communities. Without the Governors leadership and support, these conversations might not take place", commented Executive Director Dave Ardrey.
Watch for more information over the next several weeks with a brief report out at the AIRSS board meeting next week at the IASA meeting in Springfield and at the joint conference in Chicago in November. The support of rural priorities by the administration is exciting news for our member schools and for rural schools throughout Illinois.
David M. Ardrey - Executive Director
Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools