Illinois Tutoring Initiative (ITI) Advocacy Day

Apr 29, 2024 | Funding, News, Tutoring Industry

John Failla, CEO and founder of Pearl, joined the Illinois Tutoring Initiative (ITI) at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield for a successful Advocacy Day before the House of Representatives.

Key Highlights:

  • ITI’s impactful testimony: During their House of Representatives appropriations committee hearing, ITI captivated the committee with their unique approach. Legislators were particularly impressed by how ITI goes beyond traditional tutoring and fosters community building within districts.
  • Mitigating Learning Loss: ITI’s data-driven approach to addressing learning loss resonated strongly.
  • Developing Future Educators: The “Grow-Your-Own” model’s ability to cultivate a local talent pipeline for education was well-received. A participating superintendent even highlighted their success in hiring four ITI tutors for various roles within their district.
  • Community Investment: The concept of keeping funding within the state and directly impacting local communities through ITI’s program was highly attractive

Successful Meetings:

The day included productive meetings with key legislators, including:

  • Senator Michael Halpin
  • Representative Sharon Chung
  • Senator Tom Bennett
  • Senator Dave Koehler

This event solidified ITI’s impactful model and Pearl’s role in supporting it. The day’s success paves the way for continued growth and positive outcomes for Illinois students and communities.

Topics of Interest:

Senators and Reps were very interested in the ITI program. They were especially interested in this model because of the added impact it makes in their communities vs. working with tutoring vendors. The points that resonated the most are:

  • Learning Loss: ITI is truly mitigating learning loss in their districts and has the data / efficacy reports to back it up.
  • Pipeline Development: All of the legislatures caught onto the fact that this program also develops a talent pipeline in the backyard. We had a superintendent join us who hired 4 ITI tutors to work across their school. The roles they hired included a teacher, substitute, paraprofessional, and even a new bus driver. Andy Jordan at Donovan is the super who joined us and is a super that is working with ITI.
  • Community Investment: One area that resonated the most was around keeping the dollars in their community. When a state signs a contract with a vendor, those dollars leave the community and go to neighboring states (or even countries). When a state launches a grow-your-own program, they are keeping the vast majority of dollars in the state and are stimulating the economy by giving people more than a livable wage.



Learn more about the Illinois Tutoring Initiative.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT: "The Future of High-Impact Tutoring with AI" | June 5 from 12-3 pm ET
This is default text for notification bar