(105 ILCS 5/34-1.01) (from Ch. 122, par. 34-1.01)
    Sec. 34-1.01. Intent. The General Assembly has previously established that the primary purpose of schooling is the transmission of knowledge and culture through which children learn in areas necessary to their continuing development, and the General Assembly has defined these areas as including language arts, mathematics, biological, physical and social sciences, the fine arts, and physical development and health. The General Assembly declares its intent to achieve the primary purpose of schooling in elementary and secondary schools subject to this Article, as now or hereafter amended, in cities of over 500,000 inhabitants, through the provisions of this amendatory Act of 1991.
    A. Goals. In the furtherance of this intent, the General Assembly is committed to the belief that, while such urban schools should foster improvement and student growth in a number of areas, first priority should be given to achieving the following goals:
        1. assuring that students show significant progress
toward meeting and exceeding State performance standards in State mandated learning areas, including the mastery of higher order thinking skills in these and other learning areas;
        2. assuring that students attend school regularly and
graduate from high school at rates that equal or surpass national norms;
        3. assuring that students are adequately prepared for
further education and aiding students in making a successful transition to further education;
        4. assuring that students are adequately prepared for
successful entry into employment and aiding students in making a successful transition to employment;
        5. assuring that students are, to the maximum extent
possible, provided with a common learning experience that is of high academic quality and that reflects high expectations for all students' capacities to learn;
        6. assuring that students are better prepared to
compete in the international market place by having foreign language proficiency and stronger international studies;
        7. assuring that students are encouraged in exploring
potential interests in fields such as journalism, drama, art and music;
        8. assuring that individual teachers are granted the
professional authority to make decisions about instruction and the method of teaching;
        9. assuring that students are provided the means to
express themselves creatively and to respond to the artistic expression of others through the visual arts, music, drama and dance; and
        10. assuring that students are provided adequate
athletic programs that encourage pride and positive identification with the attendance center and that reduce the number of dropouts and teenage delinquents.
    B. Achieving goals. To achieve these priority goals, the General Assembly intends to make the individual local school the essential unit for educational governance and improvement and to establish a process for placing the primary responsibility for school governance and improvement in furtherance of such goals in the hands of parents, community residents, teachers, and the school principal at the school level.
    Further, to achieve these priority goals, the General Assembly intends to lodge with the board of education key powers in limited areas related to district-wide policy, so that the board of education supports school-level governance and improvement and carries out functions that can be performed more efficiently through centralized action.
    The General Assembly does not intend to alter or amend the provisions of the desegregation obligations of the board of education, including but not limited to the Consent Decree or the Desegregation Plan in United States v. Chicago Board of Education, 80 C 5124, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Accordingly, the implementation of this amendatory Act of 1991, to the extent practicable, shall be consistent with and, in all cases, shall be subject to the desegregation obligations pursuant to such Consent Decree and Desegregation Plan.
(Source: P.A. 87-455; 88-686, eff. 1-24-95.)