By Terry Dean
The District 97 Board of Education approved a formal resolution June 10 supporting legislation to allow for greater student data sharing between non-unit school districts that serve essentially the same population of students.
The district is working with Oak Park lawmakers to amend the state's school code, which restricts the kind of information that can be shared among such districts, which include D97 and Oak Park and River Forest High School.
It's a problem officials at both school districts have expressed frustration over and are looking to solve.
The D97 school board approved the resolution supporting "legislation allowing non-unit districts to enter into agreements to share student data to the same extent and with the same ease as unit districts."
The resolution continues, "Schools in a unit district may freely share student data with all other schools in the district. In contrast, schools within a non-unit district may freely share student data only with other schools in the same non-unit district. This means that non-unit district elementary schools in a community cannot freely share data about its students with non-unit district high schools in the same community, and vice versa."
The board's legislative advocacy committee, CLAIM, is working with state Sen. Don Harmon (39th) to change the school code.