Rumors about proposed action for the Illinois Schools for the Deaf and Visually Impaired from the governor’s office are swirling through town this weekend.
Several respected sources contacted WLDS-WEAI News on Friday morning with a similar claim- that the governor’s secretary of education, Beth Purvis, has plans to close ISD, move its students to ISVI, and turn the ISD campus into a juvenile justice facility.
We made several phone calls. State Senator Sam McCann told us he reached out to Purvis’ office and was told there are no plans to close or consolidate the schools at this time.
“However, we also received a statement from the Department of Human Services, which oversees operations at ISD and ISVI. Spokeswoman Veronica Vera said this: “While there are no plans to consolidate the [two schools] at this time, the lack of a balanced budget and dire fiscal times require us to consider all options.
“We recognize that each school faces its own unique challenges, each serves an important purpose in the State of Illinois by providing education and care to a population with specific and distinct needs.
“Before any discussions about transforming the schools to improve the quality of education each scholar deserves, the General Assembly needs to pass a balanced budget.
“Securing the future for these schools is important to the agency and we will continue to work collaboratively with community advocates and stakeholders to effectively serve these individuals.”
We also reached out to the governor’s office and were referred to the Illinois State Board of Education. A message was not returned on Friday.