SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—The Illinois State Board of Education has ousted the elected school board in East St. Louis and is considering doing the same in the North Chicago school district.
The state board took the action Thursday in Springfield. In East St. Louis’ case the board cited generations of academic failure and resistance from locally elected leaders to fix it.
“We are putting the students of East St. Louis first and for too long that has not been the priority in this district,” said state education chief Christopher Koch. “With the help of this new Independent Authority, we will work tirelessly to prepare the nearly 4,000 students in this district for success in college and careers.”
The ousted local school board now will be replaced by members chosen by the state.
“I am confident that we’ve made the right decision as we move forward to provide a better education for the students of East St. Louis,” said state board of education chair Gery Chico. “We hope to move forward with meaningful reform that will eventually allow this district to stand alone again with a locally-elected school board at the helm.”
The state board’s vote to remove the East St. Louis board at Koch’s urging was unanimous. The state now will set up a new administrative structure to run that district.
Associated Press contributed to this report.