IEA Reports on the State of Education

The Illinois Education Association released the results from its annual State of Education survey. 1000 Illinois residents were polled in January, 2024, about their views on education in Illinois. The participants were chosen randomly, and the poll has a 95% confidence rate.

The survey found that the public supports the following solutions toward making education better in Illinois:

  • More funding for schools, teachers, and paraprofessionals
  • Ensuring fair benefits for retirement
  • Investment in mental health and making schools safer
  • Students with special needs having the resources they need to succeed
  • Teachers and parents leading in the classroom without input from politicians.

Illinoisans’ grades for local schools have improved and continue to outpace statewide and national equivalents. The pubic supports policies that support school employees. Illinoisans have strong feelings about the challenges facing education and educators today, especially with questions regarding book bans and Critical Race Theory.

For the press release and full results of the survey, please visit the IEA State of Education website.

JB Addresses NUEA Delegates

Thursday, March 14, 2024 – The Illinois Education Association begin its Representative Assembly (RA) in Rosemont with an address from governor JB Pritzker. During his address, Pritzker offered his support to all educators, including certified staff members and Education Support Personnel (ESP’s).

Pritzker also highlighted the following achievements under his tenure as governor:

  • Increased education funding by $1.7 billion
  • Dedicated $5 million toward the Teacher Vacancy Program, resulting in adding 5384 new teachers to public schools in Illinois
  • Tripled scholarship for new teachers
  • Quadrupled the teacher minimum wage
  • Increased pension contributions every year
  • In 2023, US News and World Report recognized Illinois high school students as #2 in the nation for college readiness.
  • In 2023, CNBC named Illinois as the #2 best state overall in education quality.
  • Illinois has the highest graduation rate in 13 years.
  • Teacher retention is at an all time high.

The Naperville Unit Education Association has 15 delegates attending the RA out of a total of 1032 delegates in attendance. Special thank you to Gov. Pritzker for addressing our members and for continuing to advocate for our staff and our students.

Judges Visit NUEA RA

Two local judges addressed NUEA building reps and the Executive Board at their February representative assembly meeting. Joe Hettel is currently running for Appellate Justice in the Third District and Jennifer Barron is running for DuPage County Judge in the 18th Judicial Circuit. Both candidates are currently running in contested primary elections.

They spoke about how recent changes to the appointment process by the Supreme Court have placed more experienced judges into positions for which they are most qualified, rather than simply relying on cronyism to fill judicial vacancies. Both Hettle and Barron were appointed to their positions by the Illinois Supreme Court, and they are now running to remain in those positions.

Hettel spent his career defending women’s rights and protecting children. He values compassion and common sense, and has the experience to do the job well. Barron is endorsed by Personal PAC, which is Illinois’ leading pro-choice organization. She is an active leader in District 204, where she served as PTA President at Owen and Still, and she still serves on the board for the Indian Prarie Educational Foundation.

NUEA does not take a formal position in judicial primaries, but many other labor organizations have endorsed Hettel and Barron.