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Stimulus Funds Going To Underperforming Illinois Schools

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(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Some underperforming Illinois schools will get millions in federal stimulus money to undergo what the State Board of Education calls “dramatic reforms.”

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports, starting in Fiscal Year 2012, school districts in Chicago, far north suburban North Chicago, and downstate Decatur, Peoria, Sandoval and Springfield will get their share of nearly $75 million to address underperformance. Board spokeswoman Mary Fergus says change won’t come easy.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

“There needs to be a complete willingness to change business as usual and to undergo some dramatic reform in terms of leadership and completely all aspects of how that school functions and operates,” Fergus said.

She says that could mean the superintendents, many of whom likely applied for the grants in the first place, could lose their jobs if they don’t meet expectations.

“Schools want to improve,” she says. “These are schools that have likely tried other methods and have not been successful. Oftentimes the leaders in charge are applying, as well as the district.”

Pre-approved organizations, known as lead partners, will advise the schools on what should be done to meet expectations.

The schools receiving funding are:

Chicago SD 299:
Julian High School, 10330 S. Elizabeth St.
Kelvyn Park High School, 4343 W. Wrightwood Ave.
North Lawndale Charter High School, 1616 S. Spaulding Ave.
Juarez Community Academy High School, 2150 S. Laflin St.
Hancock College Preparatory High School, 4034 W. 56th St.
Tilden Career Community Academy High School, 4747 S. Union Ave.
Richards Career Academy High School, 5009 S. Laflin St.
Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.

North Chicago SD 187
North Chicago Community High School, 1717 17th St.

Decatur SD 61
Eisenhower High School

Peoria SD 150
Peoria High School

Sandoval CUSD 501
Sandoval Senior High School

Springfield SD 186
Lanphier High School

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