Proration vs. per pupil reductions
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will continue to discuss changes that seek to address the distribution of General State Aid dollars. At the center of current discussions is whether funding cuts to K-12 education should be applied as per pupil reductions or a proration percentage, as has been the practice for the past several years.
Neither option will address the insufficient state funding dilemma facing public school districts throughout the state. However, proponents of using the “per pupil reduction” method argue that it will be less harmful to districts that are more reliant on state funding and have less property wealth. ISBE plans to take up the matter again at its June 17 meeting, with a vote possible.
More information on the proration vs. per pupil reductions can be found in the state superintendent’s May 19 Weekly Message and in the IASB summary of the May ISBE meeting on the Members Only site (under the IASB Governance tab).
State Superintendent Tony Smith hosted a webinar May 28 to introduce himself to school officials and education personnel across the state. Smith discussed his education philosophy and continued his mantra of providing additional support and resources for Illinois students. For those who were not able to participate in the webinar a recording of the event is available on ISBE’s website.
Lunch equipment grants available
ISBE has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants. $950,534 in grant funds will be provided to approved school food authorities (SFA) to assist in purchasing equipment that meets the updated meal pattern requirement, improves food safety, and expands access to healthy meals. SFAs that participate in the federally funded National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply.
The FY 2016 Equipment Grant RFP is available here and is due by June 30, 2015.
Pupil transportation claim reimbursement system
The Pupil Transportation Claim Reimbursement System (PTCRS) is now available for local education agencies to submit claim data for the 2014-2015 school year. Instructions for submitting PTCRS claims are available here.