Friday, August 17, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-74

Governor Bruce Rauner has been taking action on various pieces of legislation that have reached his desk since the legislative session concluded. After a bill is approved by the legislature, the General Assembly has 30 days to send the bill to the Governor. The Governor then has 60 days to either sign or veto a bill.

While Governor Bruce Rauner has acted on many pieces of legislation, he has yet to take action on several issues including the minimum teacher salary bill (SB 2892, Manar D-Bunker Hill). To see more on SB 2892, click here.

Click here for the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-74, including the list of education bills that have been signed into law.

Fall Division Meetings on the way

The schedule for IASB’s 2018 Fall Division Meetings is set. The slate opens with the Western Division meeting in Macomb on September 12, and concludes on October 30 with the South Cook event taking place in Alsip. In between, the Association’s 19 other divisions will meet in venues across the state.

Each Division Meeting offers networking opportunities and updates from Association staff, division directors, and division chairpersons. Most meetings also offer keynote or breakout sessions on a variety of important education topics for school leaders. These will be announced at a later date.

Attendance at Division Meetings also earns participants five points in IASB’s Master Board Member Program.

Online registration is required and can be completed through IASB’s “My Account” at

Here is the schedule of dates and locations for the 21 division dinner meetings:

2018 Fall Division Meetings
September 12
Spoon River Outreach Center,
September 25
St. Joseph Middle School,
St. Joseph CCSD 169
October 2
Hilton Lisle/Naperville
October 2
Collinsville Middle School,
Collinsville CUSD 10
October 2
Three Rivers
Prairie Bluff Golf Club,
October 2
Wabash Valley
Robinson High School,
Robinson CUSD 2
October 4
Abe Lincoln
Rochester CUSD 3A
October 4
Mercer Co. SD 404
October 4
Learning Community Center,
Pinckneyville CHSD 101
October 10
Central Illinois Valley
Pekin CHSD 303
October 10
DoubleTree by Hilton
October 10
Carbondale CHSD 165
October 11
Corn Belt
Prairie Central CUSD 8
October 11
Starved Rock
Northview School, Peru ESD 124
October 23
Nokomis CUSD 22
October 24
North Cook
Café La Cave, Des Plaines
October 25
Randall Oaks Golf Club,
West Dundee
October 25
Two Rivers
Hamilton’s, Jacksonville
October 29
West Cook
Elmcrest, Elmwood Park
October 29
Meridian CUSD 223
October 30
South Cook
DoubleTree, Alsip

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ensure Conference attendance transparency
by using sample policies, news releases

IASB encourages school boards that plan to attend the Joint Annual Conference to be pro-active in documenting their professional development experiences and expenses at Conference.

One way for a board to be pro-active in the area of professional development experiences may be to adopt a policy that addresses professional development for all school board members. More specifically, that means adopting a policy that permits and encourages ongoing leadership training for those who have volunteered to serve their community as unpaid school board members.

IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) has a sample policy (2:120, Board Member Development) on this issue. It provides boards with guidance on issues related to setting parameters for board member training. School boards can use the guidance to set parameters on governance concerns (ensuring board members learn, understand, and practice effective governance principles and other best practices). Boards can use that policy guidance, as well, to set parameters on mandatory training, which means training mandated by state law (a list of such laws is contained in the sidebar at right).

The major purpose and function of the sample PRESS policy on the topic of board member professional development is to provide information and guidance to staff members, students, parents, and community. It paraphrases the mandatory board member training statutes and provides information to the community (see Policy background information below).

The Joint Annual Conference provides both mandatory and governance-related training to school board members and administrators through a Pre-Conference PDLT Workshop and myriad other panel presentations, workshops, General Sessions, and exhibits on school governance and leadership, education funding, student learning and achievement, school law and technology, as well as current education issues and best practices.

Also important at Conference are expenses. PRESS has two sample policies: 2:125, Board Member Compensation; Expenses (for board member expenses), and 5:60, Expenses (employee expenses). State law controls both policies’ content (105 ILCS 5/10-9, 5/10-10, and 5/22-1 (no compensation allowed, conflicts of interest prohibited); 105 ILCS 5/10-22.32 (expense advancements); and the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (ECA) 50 ILCS 150/10 (regulation of travel expenses)). The purpose and function of these sample PRESS policies on expenses are legal compliance (see Policy background information below).

Boards should review their existing policies or consider adopting a policy before attending the Joint Annual Conference, which is scheduled for November 16-18 in Chicago.

Watch for other material, including sample news releases, that are developed by the Association to assist those districts that want to pro-actively share what they will do and/or did at the 2018 Joint Annual Conference. Sample news releases are customizable and will suggest language that allows districts to specify who attended, how much the district spent, and how attendance fits into the district’s budget and professional development goals.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

School board members help refocus
Illinois Vision 20/20

Representatives from the six founding organizations of Illinois Vision 20/20 met August 9 in Springfield to review legislative accomplishments and determine areas of focus going forward.

The public policy platform was formed in 2013 to help guide educators, legislators, and other stakeholders to work together toward the common goal of fulfilling the promise of public education in Illinois. Specific policy proposals were developed around four priorities: highly effective educators, 21st century learning, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding.

The Illinois Association of School Boards was among the founding organizations that also included the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principal’s Association, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, and Superintendents Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.

“To be in the room with so many of the original drafters of Vision 20/20 discussing the accomplishments of the initiative was invigorating,” said IASB President Joanne Osmond. “The leaders of the various organizations know what is important to ensure adequate and equitable education for all children in Illinois.”

Representing school boards at the meeting were President Joanne Osmond (Lake Villa CCSD 41), Vice President Tom Neeley (Morton CUSD 709), division directors Linda Eades (Northwestern CUSD 2), Simon Kampwerth (Peru ESD 124), Denis Ryan (CHSD 230), Barbara Somogyi (Elk Grove CCSD 59), and Mary Stith (Geneva CUSD 304), and Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

School board representatives attending were, from left to right, Tom Neeley, Mary Stith,
Barbara Somogyi, Simon Kampwerth, Joanne Osmond, Denis Ryan, Linda Eades,
and IASB Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

While much has been accomplished, the participants identified areas where work still needs to be done. They also shared ideas on how new issues can be defined within each of the four pillars.

Osmond added: “In five years we accomplished what many thought was impossible and brought both political parties to the table in agreement to implement a new more equitable funding model for education. The conversation drifted to what's next in accountability, shared accountability, and a safe school for every child to attend and learn.”

The meeting was facilitated by ECRA Group, Inc., a third-party educational consulting firm. Outcomes from the meeting will provide guidance for developing new policy proposals that continue the momentum of Illinois Vision 20/20. Information and updates on the initiative will be posted on the Illinois Vision 20/20 website.

Monday, August 13, 2018

News from ISBE

Districts sending in 2017-18 attendance data
School districts are required to submit their latest yearly attendance data to ISBE by August 31 under a key provision of the new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) law. Under the law, ISBE is required to calculate and use districts’ best three-month average daily attendance (ADA), and nine-month ADA, for purposes that range from calculating per capita tuition charges to reckoning payments of school maintenance and energy efficiency grants.

The District Average Daily Attendance/Prior General State Aid System in IWAS opened in June for submission of the 2017-18 attendance data. The system mirrors the General State Aid data submission portal used in past years, and it reflects the same district personnel approvals as in the past. Attendance data itself is to be reported the same way as in past years.  For questions on submitting the required attendance data, contact ISBE’s School Business Services at 217/785-8779.

Capital needs survey
The state is reminding school districts to complete and submit the Capital Needs Assessment Survey. The survey will remain open for district responses until September 7. Full participation in the assessment will help ensure an accurate portrayal of the capital needs of all districts throughout the state.

The survey arises because ISBE and the Capital Development Board are required by Public Act 93-0489 to file a comprehensive assessment report of the capital needs of all school districts with the legislature every two years. January 1, 2019, is the due date of the next such report.

District superintendents and regional superintendents were emailed a copy of the latest Capital Needs Assessment Survey on April 16, along with a cover letter.  Districts that did not receive a copy of the email have been asked to let the State Board know.

Additional forms, if needed, are available on ISBE’s finance webpage or the Capital Development Board website. Completed forms may be submitted by mail to: School Business Services, 100 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62777-0001; or by email at:

For more information, contact Christine Kolaz, ISBE School Business Services, at 217/785-8779.