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Executive Order Number 16-3

February 18, 2016

Executive Order Number 3-16




WHEREAS, the State of Illinois trails the nation in education services and performance;

WHEREAS, the State assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), indicates that only 35% of third grade students met expectations in reading and only 27% of fifth grade students met expectations in math; and

WHEREAS, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that only 37% and 35% of fourth grade students met expectations in math and reading, respectively, while only 32% and 35% of eighth grade students met expectations in math and reading, respectively; and

WHEREAS, according to Illinois State Board of Education records, only 85.3% of Illinois high school students graduate; and

WHEREAS, one out of every five children in Illinois live in poverty; and

WHEREAS, there are approximately 15 agencies that oversee cradle-to-career educational services for Illinois citizens; and

WHEREAS, since 2009 the State has enacted at least 130 statutes that impose more than 200 new or modified educational mandates on school districts; and

WHEREAS, funding for PK-12 education has been reduced by $3.8 billion over the past seven years; and

WHEREAS, Illinois post-secondary institutions have a 58.9% graduation rate over a six-year period; and

WHEREAS, only 43% of Illinois residents hold a high-quality degree or credential; and

WHEREAS, Article X, Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution establishes educational development as a fundamental goal of the people of Illinois and requires the State to provide for an efficient system of high quality public educational institutions and services; and

WHEREAS, 17 states across the country have created children and youth cabinets to promote coordination across state agencies and improve the well-being of and outcomes for children and families; and

WHEREAS, Illinois needs a cohesive strategy among our education and health and human services agencies in producing education outcomes that will improve the quality of education and well-being for the children of Illinois and lessen the administrative burden on our most vulnerable children and families throughout our public school system;

THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois, by virtue of the executive authority vested in me by Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, do hereby order as follows:


There is hereby established the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth (the “Children’s Cabinet”).


The Children’s Cabinet shall drive the State’s strategic vision for achieving child and family outcomes and long-term prospects for the state’s future workforce. It will promote accountability by tracking educational progress on a state-wide initiatives and increase public awareness of education matters. It will also focus on improving efficiency within the State for children and family programs; and develop strategic collaborations among public and private partners with respect to children and family programs.


The Children’s Cabinet shall track the performance of each agency, board, and commission of the State of Illinois responsible for education programs and each public institution of higher education (“State education agencies”); establish strategic goals for attaining a more cohesive State education service strategy; and make funding and policy recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly to improve measurable education outcomes to 90% of grade level.

The Children’s Cabinet shall promote coordination and efficiency among State education agencies, school districts, community colleges, and units of local government through mobilization of resources around child-centered education priorities, facilitation of a holistic approach to serving children, and strengthening partnerships with the non-profit and private sectors to create new funding sources for PK-12 education. The Children’s Cabinet shall work with other State agencies, school districts, community colleges, and other units of local governments to obtain information and records necessary to carry out its duties.

The Children’s Cabinet shall periodically report on, without limitation, strategic goals set by the Children’s Cabinet, its public research agenda, State education performance monitoring, and the Children’s Cabinet’s progress in meeting its goals.


1. The Children’s Cabinet shall consist of:

a. The Governor, who will serve as Chairman of the Children’s Cabinet;
b. Lieutenant Governor;
c. The Deputy Governor;
d. The Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget;
e. The State Secretary of Education;
f. The Superintendent of the State Board of Education;
g. The Director of the Department of Children and Family Services;
h. The Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
i. The Director of the Department of Employment Security
j. The Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services;
k. The Secretary of the Department of Human Services;
l. The Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice;
m. The Director of the Department of Public Health;
n. The Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development;
o. The Director of the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission;
p. The Executive Director of the Board of Higher Education;
q. The Executive Director of the Community College Board;
r. The Executive Director of the Student Assistance Commission; and
s. The President of the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

2. A majority of the members of the Children’s Cabinet shall constitute a quorum, and all recommendations of the Cabinet shall require approval of a majority of the total members of the Cabinet.

3. The Governor’s Office shall provide administrative support to the Cabinet as needed, including with respect to compliance with State ethics laws, the Open Meetings Act officer, and the Freedom of Information Act.

4. The Children’s Cabinet shall hold at least four meetings each year, but otherwise shall meet at the call of the chair.

5. The Children’s Cabinet shall submit an interim report to the Governor every six months and an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly.

6. The Children’s Cabinet may adopt whatever policies and procedures are necessary to carry out its duties and functions.


In addition to whatever policies or procedures it may adopt, the Children’s Cabinet shall be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.) and the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.). This section shall not be construed as to preclude other statutes from applying to the Cabinet and its activities.


If any part of this Executive Order is found invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.


This Executive Order does not contravene, and shall not be construed to contravene, any State or federal law, or any collective bargaining agreement.


This Executive Order supersedes any contrary provision of any prior Executive Order.


This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.


Bruce Rauner, Governor

Issued by Governor: February 18, 2016
Filed with Secretary of State: February 18, 2016