Education group says Illinoisans gives schools low grade

An Illinois Education Association on Tuesday released a report that shows Illinoisans do not have high regard for public schools outside their own communities.

The association indicates in its State of Education report that 1,000 Illinois residents taking part in a poll gave a grade of ``C-“ to public schools, although they gave their local public schools an ``A” or ``B” grade. The report indicates more than half of those polled believe teachers are paid too little. Many also said they wouldn’t advise family members to become teachers. There are about 2,560 teacher positions open in Illinois.

“The State of Education Report tells us we have a long way to go when it comes to fixing the teacher shortage,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin. “The people of Illinois have spoken. We need to invest in our public schools, give our educators a louder voice at the table and truly put our students first.”

Griffin says repairing public school deficiencies is a priority among Illinois residents, above concern about crime, balancing the state’s budget and lowering taxes. She said she is hopeful state lawmakers will ``step up to the plate this legislative session” to continue investing in public schools and educators.

The poll was conducted by Normington-Petts and We Ask America and included a sample of people from across the state, said Jill Normington.