Saturday, April 29, 2017

Federal Legislative Report 115-03

The previous version of the American Health Care Act, as reported in FLR 115-02, proposed major funding changes to the federal Medicaid program, including how the federal government funds its share of state Medicaid costs. The bill enacted a per capita cap on federal Medicaid payments to states, thus jeopardizing the Medicaid funding schools receive to provide healthcare services to students, including students with disabilities.

The per capita cap in the previous legislation was set at a lower level than healthcare costs are expected to grow under Medicaid in future years. This would have required states to make decisions about what services are covered due to reduced federal support. States would have likely factored cost decisions over what services to cover for children with disabilities. Additionally, schools would have been forced to compete with medical care providers such as hospitals and physicians for limited funding.

Click here to read the entire Federal Legislative Report 115-03, including information on FY17 appropriations and Illinois' ESSA plan. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report 100-16

Today (Friday) was a significant date in the legislative process, though it isn’t the hard deadline it once was. For both the House of Representatives and the Senate, this is the self-imposed deadline for moving bills out of the first legislative chamber. Bills that have been approved will swap chambers and begin the committee process anew. In days past, if a bill had not been considered favorably by this point it was pretty much a dead issue. Legislative leaders have become more lenient through the years and now dozens of bills will simply have their deadlines extended to retain their viability.

The Senate, originally scheduled to be in session today, cancelled and adjourned Thursday afternoon. The House wrapped up action on bills on “Third Reading” today, which was the final passage stage in the chamber. The Senate will return to the Capitol next Tuesday and the House is scheduled to return on Tuesday, May 9. The final adjournment date for the spring for both chambers is May 31st.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 100-16, including the bills in action this week.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Post-election deadlines approaching

May 1st is the deadline to file a required statement of economic interests. The filing requirement applies not only to all school board members, but also superintendents, building principals, heads of departments, employees responsible for negotiating contracts of $1,000 or more, hearing officers, supervisors with authority for more than 20 or more employees, and any employee in a position that requires an administrative or chief business official certificate.

Economic interest statements must be filed with the county clerk in a form provided by law. Anyone required to file who cannot meet the deadline may obtain a 30-day extension by filing with the county clerk a declaration of intent to defer the filing.

May 2nd is the last day for school boards to reorganize by seating new members elected on April 4, 2017, electing officers, and setting a time and place for regular meetings.

More information about these procedures and requirements are available in a free brochure, “Seating New Board Members and Organizing the Board.” It is available to view or download from the IASB website.

Registration is now open for the Association’s two-day New Board Member workshops, which begin June 2-3 and conclude on July 7-8. The workshops, to be held at nine locations throughout Illinois, will enable newly elected board members to fulfill their state-mandatory board training and learn more about school board governance. One- and two-day options are available. For more information about this professional development opportunity, view or download the workshop brochure

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

VIDEO: IASB Governmental Relations talks school election results

IASB’s Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm recently sat down with Assistant Director of Governmental Relations Zach Messersmith to discuss results from the April 4 local elections. Among the highlights are the historic passage rate for property tax increases and how the state’s failure to provide sufficient, reliable funding may have impacted voter’s decisions. The pair also talked about county sales tax outcomes and why fewer bonding proposals have been on the ballot in recent years.

If the video is not displaying correctly, click here.

Click here to view election charts and a breakdown of school finance and bond referendums over the past decade in Illinois.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Journal offers referendum guidance

May/June 2017
The May/June 2017 issue of The Illinois School Board Journal offers new trends and important guidance to school board members and staff in districts considering a referendum, as well as success stories of referendum campaigns. Three school districts in Illinois shared their stories, establishing that you get what you work for, not what you wish for. The Journal also welcomes new board members with advice on protecting their reputations as they serve their communities, and commentary on board members' roles as stewards of public education.

Readers will also find information on teacher salary schedules, settling in with a new board, and how a district managed a quarantine situation that made headlines and even garnered the attention of "Saturday Night Live."

Check your mailboxes, or click here or below to read the complete digital edition of the May/June Journal.