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Historical Summary 1913-1929

1913 Twenty-five school board members meet in Quincy, December 12-13, and organize the Illinois State School Board Association. J.W. Wall, of Quincy, is elected first president. Topics discussed at that first meeting include:

  • Some school board problems and how to solve them.
  • Standardizing school accounting, school statistics, and office methods.
  • The school board and vocational education.
  • The wider use of school plants-legal use of school buildings.
  • Prerogatives of the superintendent.
  • Teacher salaries and teaching efficiency.
  • School revenues.

The fundamental purposes of the association are stated at the first meeting. The organization is created to (1) be a purely voluntary movement; (2) serve only the best interests of the public school system of Illinois; (3) secure a uniformity of action on matters pertaining to school financing and management; (4) improve the methods of accounting for school funds; (5) bring about the simplification of school laws and a more definite differential of functions between the school board and the school superintendent.


1914-1928 Because the Association was operated with no regular staff until 1928, there is no record available for this 15-year period. It is assumed, however, that the organization remained active and that annual meetings were held during this period.

Also during this period, the state legislature established a state pension fund for teachers (1915) and a state aid formula designed to equalize expenditures per pupil (1927).


1928 A. D. McLarty, first staff member employed by the Association, is named part-time executive secretary. A permanent office is established in the Urbana Public Library building.

On November 21-22, the first school board convention is held in Urbana. Subsequent conventions are held in Peoria, Decatur, Springfield, St. Louis and Chicago.

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