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Illinois school districts

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K-12 Education in Illinois
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Christopher Koch
Number of students: 2,083,097[1]
Number of teachers: 131,777
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.8
Number of school districts: 1,075
Number of schools: 4,336
Graduation rate: 82%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $10,774[3]
See also
Illinois State Board of EducationList of school districts in IllinoisIllinoisSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Illinois
Glossary of education terms

Illinois is home to 4,336 schools and 2,083,097 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Gery J. Chico, Chair
    • Steven R. Gilford, Vice Chair
    • Dr. Vinni M. Hall, Secretary
    • James W. Baumann
    • Dr. Andrea S. Brown
    • Dr. David L. Fields
    • Melinda A. LaBarre
    • Curt Bradshaw
    • Vacant


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Chicago Public Schools
2.) School District U-46
3.) Indian Prairie School District 204
4.) Rockford Public Schools
5.) Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202
6.) Community Unit School District 300
7.) Naperville Community Unit School District 203
8.) Valley View School District 365U
9.) Oswego Community Unit School District 308
10.) Waukegan Public School District 60


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Illinois as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[5]

Demographic Information for Illinois's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 6,260 0.30% 1.10%
Asian 87,546 4.20% 4.68%
African American 375,919 18.05% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 2,009 0.10% 0.42%
Hispanic 493,698 23.7% 24.37%
White 1,058,714 50.82% 51.21%
Two or More 58,951 2.83% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Chicago Public Schools

A significant amount of education resources in Illinois have gone to improving the nation's third-largest school district, Chicago Public Schools. The district has been plagued with issues in recent times, with everything from lagging academic performance, underfunding and school closures cited as issues. In 2006, a study released by the Chicago Tribune and conducted by the Consortium on Chicago School Research stated that only six out of every 100 freshmen entering a Chicago public high school will earn a bachelor's degree by the time they reach their mid-20s. The numbers were even lower for black and Latino men, with only three percent.[6] From 2001 through 2008 and under the leadership of Arne Duncan, dozens of elementary and high schools were closed.[7] In May 2013, it was announced that the board had voted to close 49 more elementary schools and one high school.[8]

In May 2012, the teachers of CPS went on a nine-day strike that culminated in a march on City Hall. The strike was the first time CPS teachers left their posts in 25 years. Teachers in the district expressed numerous concerns, ranging from insufficient pay and benefits to the manner in which they were being evaluated.[9] In October 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union voted in favor of a new three-year contract, ending the dispute.[10]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Illinois State Board of Education adopted these standards on June 24, 2010, and fully implemented them during the 2013-2014 school year.[11][12]

School board composition

Generally, Illinois school boards consist of seven members elected to serve terms of four years. One exception is Chicago Public Schools, which has six members who are appointed by the mayor. Elections are held on the first Tuesday in April of each odd-numbered year. The terms of board members are staggered so there are three or four seats contested at each biennial election. If there is a vacancy, a member is appointed by the board until the next election.[13]

District types

Illinois has eight different types of school districts: the Chicago Public Schools, common school districts, community college districts, community high school districts, community unit school districts, non-high school districts, special charter districts and township high school districts. All of these school boards are elected, with the exception of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Community College District.[14]

Term limits

Illinois does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[15]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Illinois school board elections, 2015

A total of 24 Illinois school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2015 for 83 seats. All of the elections are scheduled on April 7, 2015.

See also: Trends in Illinois school board elections

The district listed below served 408,656 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Illinois School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Champaign Community Unit School District 4 4/7/2015 5 7 9,492
Cicero Public School District 99 4/7/2015 3 7 13,367
Community Consolidated School District 15 4/7/2015 3 7 12,663
Community Unit School District 200 4/7/2015 3 7 13,423
Community Unit School District 300 4/7/2015 4 7 20,810
Consolidated School District 158 4/7/2015 3 7 9,285
East Aurora School District 131 4/7/2015 4 7 14,502
Indian Prairie School District 204 4/7/2015 3 7 29,286
Joliet Public Schools District 86 4/7/2015 4 7 11,308
McLean County Unit District No 5 4/7/2015 5 7 13,309
Naperville Community Unit School District 203 4/7/2015 3 7 17,768
Oswego Community Unit School District 308 4/7/2015 3 7 17,150
Peoria Public Schools District 150 4/7/2015 2 7 14,057
Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 4/7/2015 3 7 28,904
Rockford Public Schools 4/7/2015 3 7 28,118
St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 4/7/2015 3 7 13,672
School District 54 4/7/2015 3 7 14,083
School District U-46 4/7/2015 5 7 40,687
Springfield School District 186 4/7/2015 3 7 14,972
Township High School District 211 4/7/2015 4 7 12,593
Township High School District 214 4/7/2015 4 7 12,305
Valley View School District 365U 4/7/2015 3 7 17,838
Waukegan Public School District 60 4/7/2015 3 7 16,597
West Aurora Public School District 129 4/7/2015 4 7 12,467

Path to the ballot

Illinois school board candidates must be at least 18 years old, have lived in the school district for at least one year and be a registered voter. To become a school board candidate one must also do the following:[16]

  • File a Statement of Economic Interests with the county clerk and obtain a receipt.
  • File the following with the secretary of the board of education or the designated representative: a nominating petition signed by at least 50 registered voters or 10 percent of the voters, whichever is less; a Statement of Candidacy; a county clerk's receipt for the Statement of Economic Interests. They must be filed with the secretary no earlier than 78 days before the election and no later than 71 days before the election during normal office hours.
  • If a candidate receives or expends $3,000 or more in an election campaign, reports must be filed with the county clerk.

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 15, 2013
  5. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  6. Chicago Tribune, "Of 100 Chicago Public School Freshmen, Six Will Get A College Degree," April 21, 2006
  7. WBEZ, "CPS wants to close first Renaissance schools," May 8, 2013
  8. NBC Chicago, "School Board Votes to Close 49 Elementary Schools, 1 High School," May 23, 2013
  9. CNN, "Official: No deal yet between Chicago teachers and school system," May 10, 2012
  10. Chicago Public Schools, "Chicago Teachers Union ratifies deal that ended strike," October 4, 2012
  11. Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
  12. Illinois State Board of Education, "Illinois Common Core Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. Illinois Association of School Boards, "School Board Elections," accessed July 10, 2014
  14. United States Census Bureau, "Illinois," accessed July 10, 2014
  15. Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Compiled Statutes," accessed July 10, 2014
  16. Illinois Association of School Boards, "School Board Member Qualifications," accessed July 10, 2014