Monday, December 17, 2018

Strikes settled quickly

Although final contract settlements have been reported recently in Chicago, Geneva, and Champaign, two teacher strikes were staged in the past three weeks as labor negotiations have continued elsewhere around the state. The most recent labor disputes included now-halted work stoppages in Geneva SD 304, and in Chicago’s Acero charter school network, Illinois’ first teacher strikes in more than a year.

Classes resumed December 10 in the Geneva district for nearly 6,000 students after a strike that began December 3 idled 458 teachers. While the strike continued through just one weekend, sports events and school activities were cancelled, and scheduled final exams were pushed back to January.

Likewise, the teacher work stoppage was short-lived at Chicago’s 15-school charter network called Acero, lasting just four days before teachers and administrators agreed to suspend it, and end the nation’s first-ever charter school strike. The strike involved nearly 500 teachers, and kept approximately 7,500 students out of the classroom for days.

Earlier the Champaign CUSD 4 Board of Education and the local teachers organization reached a tentative agreement November 20 on a new contract, avoiding a strike by nearly 200 teachers. Negotiators there worked out a three-year deal, since ratified.

In other labor developments, a contract dispute between the board of education for Township High School District 211 and the local teacher union stretched into December, leading to an intent-to-strike notice. But the two sides averted a strike, according to a December 17 news report by WGN television.

The earliest the teachers in the Palatine-Schaumburg area district could have had a strike would have been December 17, according to the school board's message to parents. The high school district serves about 11,750 students, making it one of the largest high school districts in the state.

More information is available from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB), which collects public postings for education-related final offers. Current IELRB postings can be accessed here.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Reminder: School board candidate petitions due Monday, Dec. 17

Candidates running for school board on the April 2, 2019 consolidated election will need to submit their signed nominating petitions to the county clerk’s office or the county board of election commissioners by Monday, December 17.

Nominating petitions must be signed by at least 50 qualified voters who live in the district, or 10 percent of the qualified voters who live in the district, whichever is less.
IASB has a number of materials and resources available on the Association’s website to assist prospective school board members.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

One of the longest-serving board
members has been on board for 44 years

IASB records indicate that one of the longest-serving active school board members in Illinois is Marjorie Loizzo, of Rondout SD 72 (Lake Forest), a board secretary and nurse who has compiled 44 years of service on the board.

“I am honored to have been able to contribute to our schools for so many years,” said Loizzo, who is 81. Loizzo said she is proud of having served “as a board member for 44 years.” She took office in 1974 when Rondout was served by a three-member school board.

She says she originally ran for the job because she had seven children and wanted to help shape the educational program at the small school. An eighth child arrived later, and more than a dozen grandchildren.

Loizzo formerly worked as a part-time nurse at Lambs Farm in Green Oaks. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, where she graduated with the class of 1958.

She says IASB has helped her develop as a school board member, and she tries not to miss the services and events the Association offers. 

Correction on long-serving board member -- December 17, 2018
Blog editors deeply regret an error in a December 13 story on longevity of board members. The story about the remarkable length of service of board member Marjorie Loizzo, of Rondout SD 72 (Lake Forest), listed Loizzo as the longest-serving board member, at 44 years according to IASB records. It should have listed Don Choate, of Jonesboro CCSD 43, as the longest-serving member, at 51 years.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Leading News keeps readers informed
of media coverage on education issues

To help readers stay informed, IASB offers news headlines, featuring daily news about issues of importance to school board members, on this News Blog.

Leading News, a collection of public education-related headlines from across the state and nation, helps readers understand what the media is covering, and allows school board members to stay on top of the issues they face, or may face, in their leadership roles.

Leading News is updated most weekdays -- and some weekends -- throughout the year. IASB members and the public can access this resource by clicking on the Leading News icon above or in the right column of the News Blog. An archive of Leading News is available there as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Changes to Master Board Member Program bring all board members aboard

With the full integration of IASB’s data management system, changes that expand member inclusion have been implemented for the Association’s member recognition platform, the Master Board Member Program.

Previously, all board members who wanted to participate in the Master Board Member Program would fill out a yearly summary form detailing their activities and IASB staff would manually add points to their record.  Now that members register for events and training online via the member database, all training points are automatically totaled and added to the board member’s profile. This means that all Association school board members are automatically included in the Master Board Member Program, unless they choose to opt-out.

Because all members now tally points toward their Master Board Member status, IASB has seen a significant increase in individuals recognized for their training participation. In 2018, more than 1,300 Master Board Member - Level I members received the honors. That’s up from just around 100 members recognized in 2017.

Other changes to the Master Board Member Program include the complete elimination of self-reporting of additional outside activities that previously counted toward Master Board Member points. Participating board members will also now receive a framed Master Board Member certificate after earning 200 points. To maintain the Master Board Member status, members will need to earn 40 points each year and will receive an updated certificate at Fall Division meetings.

Board members can view their Master Board Member points and recognition records by signing into “My Account” and selecting the Education and Recognition link. Additional information on the Master Board Member Program and other recognition programs can be found on the IASB website.