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Illinois Ed Secretary Moves On

Story by WBGZ Radio

Beth PurvisGov. Bruce Rauner’s education secretary is moving on to a national education nonprofit.

 

Rauner Education Secretary Beth Purvis came on to help with Rauner’s transition into the executive office back in 2015. She stayed on to help reform Illinois’ education system.

 

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, who was part of bipartisan talks on education funding reform, said Purvis helped make things happen.

 

"Beth always seemed to be fair, and she's always been polite and easy to work with,” Lightford said. “Her effort to chair the commission Rauner had recently set up, just helped bring about closure in some areas and actually make recommendations in areas that we still needed to work on.”

 

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“I feel under her capacity she did a good job," Lightford said.

 

State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, agreed.

 

“[Purvis] came in at a time when we were really beginning to move the whole concept of a new school funding formula,” Pritchard said, “and I think our outcome would have been much different without her negotiating skills and her ability to manage the governor's reform commission as we met for nearly two years. And then to bring forth a recommendation.”

 

“She had great skills that were really needed to work through some of the contentious issues that we had and I think has done an admirable job as secretary,” Pritchard said.

 

Purvis will be replaced by Emily Bastedo.

 

Pritchard, who also took part in recent bipartisan school funding reform talks, said such a position is important.

 

“I'm also glad to see that the governor has named someone to continue in that role,” Pritchard said, “because there's going to be a lot of followup that's necessary in implementing the new school funding formula as well as the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is kind of an accountability model that we now have federal approval to implement.”

 

“It's good to have a liaison in the governor's office that can help share information and carry the governor's agenda forward,” Pritchard said, “because the [Illinois] State Board of Education is at arm's length from the governor's ability to input on education policy and I think it's good that we have a spokesperson that can identify some of the issues and help work on strategy with the legislature to bring forth improved school quality and adequacy in our school system."

 

Even Lightford said the position should “absolutely” continue and she has confidence Bastedo will do well.

 

“Beth was always accessible and so I believe the young lady that is replacing her would perhaps be in the same vein,” Lightford said, “considering she had been the First Lady's chief of staff and has worked in the administration and has worked with some of us ... I've had conversations with her over the years and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

 

Both Lightford and Pritchard said there’s going to be a lot of follow up needed to ensure the new school funding reform bill is implemented properly.

 

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)









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