The executive directors of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO) and Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) presented the school funding proposal developed by Vision 20/20 partners at ISBE’s May meeting. Illinois ASBO’s Michael Jacoby and IASA’s Brent Clark made a strong case why the Evidence Based Funding Model makes the most sense for school districts and student learning.
During the presentation both explained how the 27 components contained within the new formula would determine how and where education funding would be directed. The pieces of the evidence-based model are centered on research and best practices that, if implemented correctly, would deliver measurable student improvement in all K-12 classrooms. Some of the direct benefits of the funding model include:
- Hold-harmless funding for all Illinois school districts;
- Elimination of block grants and the PTELL adjustment;
- Flexibility based on the availability of state funds;
- Districts with the greatest need would receive the most state funding; and
- Accountability measures based on each district’s involvement in the Illinois Balance Accountability Model.
Capital Needs Survey
In accordance with state law, ISBE and the Capital Development Board are required to file a comprehensive report of the capital needs of all Illinois school districts every two years with the General Assembly. ISBE is requesting that districts complete the Capital Needs Assessment Survey by Sept. 6. District superintendents and regional superintendents were emailed the form in mid-May, with additional copies available on the ISBE website.
Grant Accountability and Transparency Act
A new grant management system will be put in place at ISBE beginning in fiscal year 2017. The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requires changes to the grant-making and application process for school districts, as well as other entities.
According to ISBE, GATA is intended to focus on performance outcomes, with the goal of increasing accountability, transparency, and efficiency through the application of standardized processes.
GATA will apply to a number of education related grants, including Early Childhood, Truant Alternative and Optional Education Program, Title I, and Individuals with Disabilities. Not included under the regulations will be any grants that apply to General State Aid or Mandated Categoricals. Applicants will also need to be prequalified to receive a FY 2017 grant.
ISBE has developed a webpage to address questions regarding GATA that also includes links to additional resources and training opportunities.
School District Budget Forms
The FY 2017 School District/Joint Agreement Budget forms need to be submitted electronically to ISBE no later than Oct. 31. The Illinois School Code requires districts to submit their adopted annual budget to the State Board of Education each year. If the approved spending agreement is not balanced, districts must then complete a Deficit Reduction plan that will balance the budget within three years.
Amended FY 2016 school budgets must also be adopted no later than June 30, and the amended report should be submitted to ISBE via the Attachment Manager.
Districts that wish to submit waiver applications to be considered by the General Assembly in the fall of 2016 need to do so by Aug. 12. Click here for additional information on the waiver process or email firstname.lastname@example.org.