Aurora Community Educational Consortium
The Aurora Community Educational Consortium is the mechanism by which Mayor David Pierce has brought together the various public and private schools in Aurora to work on projects promoting education throughout the community.
The effort started in 1994 when the Mayor began talking with the West Aurora School District about constructing a public library branch as part of a middle school building expansion. The goal was to efficiently spend tax dollars through intergovernmental cooperation.
These talks progressed into exploring ways to improve access to computer technology for adults and youth throughout the entire city in a cost effective manner, particularly in light of the economic diversity of the community. As a result, Mayor Pierce invited the East Aurora and Indian Prairie Schools District, Waubonsee Community College, Aurora University, the Illinois Math and Science Academy, and the parochial schools to join the discussions. A steering committee composed of Mayor Pierce and the chief executive officers of each organization was formed and a variety of programs have been established.
Last year the Consortium created the Aurora Online Community Network as the primary method to improve community access to computer technology. As part of this program, the city used riverboat gaming revenue to purchase a personal computer and Internet access for every public and private school in the city as well as public access terminals for the public library, Waubonsee Community College's downtown campus, and the local science museum. All of these computers are linked together through Aurora University to help facilitate collaboration among the various schools. The University hired a person to direct the program, provide Internet training for teachers and create an on-line information network for the community. The city is providing a three-year grant to cover the costs of personnel and training. Due to this cooperative effort initiated by Mayor Pierce, every adult and child in the city now has access to the Internet.
Another project of the Consortium, the Aurora Community School, is an alternative school for high school students who are at risk of being expelled or are already expelled from school. By combining the financial resources of the city and the three public school districts, a school for 60 students opened in the fall of 1995. The eventual goal is to expand the program to include middle school students.
At Mayor Pierce's request, Consortium members are currently working together to address the issue of youth violence by creating a comprehensive Anger Management/Conflict Resolution Program for implemention in every elementary, middle and high school in the City this fall. The City will provide funding to cover the cost of training teachers and developing curriculum for this program.
Contact: Office of the Mayor, (708) 844-3612
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright ©1996, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.