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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

Education Desk: ISBE Officials Mum On Fringe Benefits

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Illinois State Board of Education
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Members of Illinois' House Government Administration Committee hoped to grill Superintendent Tony Smith about expensive perks he gets on top of his $225,000 salary. But the invitation was declined by Board Chair James Meeks, who sent a letter to the committee saying he wanted to discuss the request with the school board. A day later at the state board’s meeting, Smith referred reporters to Meeks.

"So the conversation to have with the chairman, about the choices, like how we're responding? You can ask him," Smith said.

The board's new public information officer told reporters that Meeks was unavailable. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed Meeks and Smith. Smith's contract includes a clause that allows him to perform annual self-evaluations before receiving raises and a stipend to bring his pension in line with a more generous plan that hasn't been available to new state hires since 2011.

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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