Friday, February 22, 2019

Alliance Legislative Report 100-06

On Wednesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered his first budget address to the Illinois General Assembly. Predictably, Democrats in the House and Senate applauded the speech as a step in the right direction, while Republicans were concerned about the plans for additional State revenues generated through new taxes and fees. To read more about the details of the Governor’s budget address, click here.

Next week in Springfield, a group of principals, school business officials, superintendents, and school board members from across Illinois will gather to advocate on behalf of their districts at the Alliance Leadership Summit. The two-day event will offer opportunities for learning, as panels of legislators and political reporters discuss the biggest issues facing Illinois public education. While there will be an abundant number of issues covered and training provided, the main focus will be on advocacy. The school leaders will be in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon meeting with their members of the House of Representatives to share Alliance positions on legislation.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-06, including bill action from last week and bills scheduled for committee next week.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Last call for 2019
'Share the Success' proposals

Illinois school districts have until February 22 to submit panel proposals for the 2019 Joint Annual Conference. Districts and related education organizations are invited to share their innovative programs, insights, and discoveries for this year’s “Share the Success” panel presentations.

The proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by fellow school board members throughout the state. Panels not selected for Share the Success presentations may have the opportunity to present the topic during the Carousel of Panels.

Districts interested in sharing their stories must submit proposals online by February 22.

The 2019 Conference will take place November 22-24 in Chicago.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Alliance Legislative Report 101-05

Governor JB Pritzker delivered his first state Budget Address today before a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. State senators and representatives joined together in the chamber of the House of Representatives to listen to the newly elected governor lay out his budget priorities. The governor’s staff has for weeks laid the ground work on just how dire state finances are. He followed that up today citing the state’s $3.2 billion budget deficit and the $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills, further claiming that he will “hold the line on spending.” He added that it will take several years to get out of the mess.

However, within the parameters of his revenue and budget plan, several areas of the state budget are recommended to be increased. The governor recommends that state resources be concentrated into three main areas: education, health and human services, and public safety.

Governor Pritzker pushed for adoption of a “fair tax system” – a graduated income tax instead of our current flat tax structure. Since this will require an amendment to the Illinois Constitution, Pritzker acknowledged that it will take at least 18 months to accomplish this feat.

The governor proposes to raise $1.1 billion in new revenues for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, including:

•    $170 million from the legalization of recreational use of marijuana
•    $200 million from the legalization of sports betting
•    $390 million from imposing additional taxes on insurance companies
•    $175 million from a new Delinquent Tax Payment Incentive Program
•    $94 million from closing income tax “corporate loopholes”
•    $65 million from increasing taxes on cigarettes and E-cigarettes
•    $20 million from a new tax on plastic bags
•    $6 million from eliminating the tax credit for private school scholarships

The budget proposes to increase funding for both K-12 education and higher education, including:

•    $375 million increase for the evidence-based funding formula
•    $100 million increase for the Early Childhood Block Grant
•    $3.5 million for a match for the new federal “birth-to-5” program
•    $5 million increase for Career and Technical Education
•    $250 thousand increase for Educator Misconduct investigations
•    5 percent increase for universities and community colleges
•    12.5 percent increase for Monetary Assistant Programs (MAP) grants

Click here to read more about the governor's budget proposal and the next steps for legislators in the budget process.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Exhibitors welcome to register
for 2019 Joint Annual Conference

Exhibitor registration for the 2019 Joint Annual Conference is now open. Click here for instructions and all exhibitor forms.

Please visit the IASB website for additional information and corresponding registration and housing request forms.  The forms can be downloaded as a fillable PDF; however forms cannot be submitted online. Forms will be accepted by email (, mail, and fax.

The exhibitor information now online includes:
  • Exhibitor Packet
  • Exhibitor Housing Request Form
  • Exhibitor Floor Map
  • Credit Card Authorization Form, for payment with a credit card
  • Exhibitor FAQ
Now in its 87th year, the Joint Annual Conference has welcomed exhibitors for the past 71 years. The Conference can proudly claim vendors that have exhibited annually for 10, 20, and even 30-plus years. The event attracts thousands of public education decision-makers, connects exhibitors with them personally, and places products and services in the hands and minds of many potential customers.

This year’s Conference will be held November 22-24 in Chicago. The Exhibit Hall will be open on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, in the Riverside Center of the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

For questions or additional support, please contact:

Shantel Rotherham
217/528-9688, ext. 1115
Fax: 217/241-2144

Monday, February 18, 2019

Breakfast After the Bell
grants deadline approaching

The next deadline for applications for a “Breakfast After the Bell” grant opportunity, offered by the No Kid Hungry organization, is March 4, 2019.

Breakfast After the Bell aims to increase student participation in school breakfast, based upon research showing schoolchildren can’t learn when hungry. The Breakfast After the Bell model in Illinois follows the 2016 passage of SB 2393, now Public Act 99-0850.

The No Kids Hungry organization offers grant funds supporting one of several models of breakfast delivery in which students can “grab and go,” taking breakfast to their classroom, or have breakfasts served and eaten in the classroom. Some options offer “second chance” breakfast after the first period of classes.

Grant funds can be used for approved equipment, supplies, technology, and promotional materials. Examples include carts for moving food to the classrooms, or insulated bags for “grab and go,” or point-of-service technology. The food itself is not included in the grant.

Applying schools must be implementing or prepared to implement a Breakfast After the Bell delivery model. A district must apply separately for each school interested. Information about the program, including a toolkit for implementation, is here.

Details on the grant application are available from that page or can be obtained by clicking here.