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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

Purvis Appointed As Illinois Education Czar

Dusty Rhodes

Governor Bruce Rauner was scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a meeting of public school leaders today in Springfield. Instead, he sent his new education czar.  

Beth Purvis, a member of Gov. Rauner's transition team, had been in office just about two hours. In fact, her exact title hadn't been determined. But for the past 10 years, Purvis has been the CEO of the Chicago International Charter School. 


During a question-and-answer session with the audience in Springfield, she had a ready reply for the suburban school official who asked why charter schools get to take funds away from public schools. 

"The first thing i want to start with is that charter schools are public schools. And parents choose to enroll their children in charter public schools,” she said.

However, Purvis said charters won't be Governor Rauner's first priority. That will be adequacy and equity of school funding for all schools in Illinois.

Another member of the audience asked what the governor will reveal about school funding in his budget address tomorrow. 

"I don't like to start with a no comment,” Purvis said, “but to be candid, I don't know." 

She promised that Rauner plans to increase school funding and eliminate costly political add-ons to standard curriculum.


After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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