Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alliance Legislative Report 99-50


EDUCATION BUDGET APPROVED FOR FY 2017

Lawmakers in the Capitol today approved a full Fiscal Year 2017 budget for elementary and secondary education, including a $361 million increase over FY 2016 levels. After failing to reach a K-12 budget agreement by the scheduled adjournment at the end of May, legislative leaders and the governor began meeting in earnest in June under increased pressure to ensure that schools open this fall. A tentative agreement was reached earlier this week and legislators were called back into session Wednesday and today. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate adjourned until November.

The budget appropriations, contained in SB 2047 (Trotter, D-Chicago), will provide funding for school districts that will fully cover the statutory foundation level of $6,119 per pupil and add another $250 million in equity grants directed at school districts with high concentration of poverty students. Mandated categorical grants will be funded at FY 2016 levels and early childhood education will see an increase of $75 million over FY 2016 levels.

Chicago Public Schools will receive an additional $215 million (contained in SB 2822) for payment towards the normal costs of their teachers’ pensions in FY 2017. And, beginning in FY 2018, the district will be provided authority to levy a separate property tax for the purpose of making employer contributions to the pension fund that is excluded from the property tax cap (SB 318).

Among the many provisions of the FY 2017 Stopgap Budget Implementation Act (SB 1810), one provides that school districts whose Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) receipts total 15 percent or more of their total revenues will receive an additional 7 percent of the total amount distributed to the school district from CPPRT funds during FY 2015. This is designed to backfill a school district’s loss from any CPPRT sweeps as a result of the budget.

As for the rest of state government, the General Assembly approved a stopgap six-month budget. Though it only gets through half of the fiscal year, this is the first budget that’s been in place since June 30 of last year. The appropriations bill does include $1 billion for higher education for costs for FY 2016 and for the first half of FY 2017.

The plan is for the working groups of legislators to continue meeting and have a full-year budget ready for a vote during the Veto Session scheduled for Nov. 15-17 and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 99-50.

Policy brief data supports Vision 20/20

Updated data shows Illinois students still perform well.
The Vision 20/20 education coalition released an updated Vision 20/20 policy brief on June 27 referencing the latest key data supporting its long-term plan.

Vision 20/20 is a plan that challenges the state legislature and governor, along with all stakeholders, to take action to fulfill the promise of public education in Illinois by the year 2020.

Vision 20/20’s policy brief provides background information to support the policy vision of educators from across the state expressed in 2014 in Vision 20/20 documents that resulted from gathering school leaders’ views and ideas for the future. The objective of the initiative is to unite the Illinois education community around a vision to improve education in the state.

The updated policy brief includes new data on student achievement showing that despite Illinois being ranked nearly last nationally in state education funding, its public education system continues to perform well. For example, Illinois public education student scores on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam are shown to be comparable to national averages.
Inequities in education exist, as low-income students struggle.

But figures also show that large and growing inequities prevail in Illinois public education, with over half of all students identified as low income, and with low-income students struggling more than their peers. Yet due to the financial condition of the state, the Illinois legislature has in some recent years decided instead of allocating adequate funds to support the General State Aid formula, to only provide school districts with a portion of those funds, disproportionately affecting districts with the least local wealth and the largest percentage of students living in poverty.

An analysis of the impact of such proration contained in the updated Vision 20/20 policy brief shows that for FY2014, when appropriations were prorated at 89 percent, reductions in general state aid were $108 per pupil in low-poverty school districts, compared with $528 per pupil in high-poverty districts.

The Vision 20/20 initiative prompted proposals to address such inequity, plans which have led to state legislation on Equitable and Adequate Funding, one of the long-range plan’s four pillars. The other pillars: Highly Effective Educators, 21st Century Learning, and Shared Accountability, have also prompted legislation. But some key provisions appear to be stalled in the General Assembly at present.

For example, House Bill 3190 passed in the Senate and is now in the House, where it is currently on third reading, with an extended deadline for action to June 30. Insiders say the prospects for passage of the bill, which aims to require evidence-based school funding, are uncertain given the volatile political environment in Springfield.

Two other Vision 20/20 bills have been adopted this year, however. HB 5729, for example, requires higher education boards and the ISBE to jointly adopt and publicize model post-secondary and career expectations for K-12 students. It establishes a pilot program of competency-based, high school graduation requirements.

Another adopted bill, HB 6044, would delay differentiated accountability for a year while schools await final federal rule-making on the topic. A bill that passed the General Assembly last year requires the state to adopt a differentiated accountability model to focus on continuous improvement, recognize the diversity of struggling schools and eliminate achievement gaps across the state. Vision 20/20 proponents said this model would allow local flexibility, promote shared accountability, and be sensitive to local improvements.

Since the Vision 20/20 campaign was launched in 2014, 522 school districts representing more than 810,000 students have pledged support. Information about the Vision 20/20 initiative, and access to additional resources, are available at the Vision 20/20 website.







Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Do what is right for our state,
our schools, and our citizens

Ben Schwarm
IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm
on stalled progress in the legislature

So what will happen in this week’s legislative session? Much political posturing, many legislative caucus meetings, partisan press conferences, the trading of political jabs, and – hopefully – a Fiscal Year 2017 budget for elementary and secondary education.

The Illinois General Assembly left the Capitol on May 31 without adopting a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year (feel free to insert your “you had one job” meme here). Lawmakers will be back under the Capitol dome Wednesday in an effort to allow schools to open in August by passing an FY 2017 education budget and to keep state operations going by approving at least a six-month omnibus state budget.

Though there is much talk about reaching an agreement between House Democrats and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, it is expected there will be votes on more partisan proposals first. Likely, the Senate Democrat Majority will have a K-12 spending plan, the House Democrats will have their own version, and legislative Republicans will be pushing for the governor’s plan. When the dust settles, there will hopefully be a bill that funds K-12 schools for FY 2017 that passes both chambers of the General Assembly and will be signed by the governor.

IASB, along with the Alliance partners, support a full year FY 2017 K-12 budget that funds the General State Aid formula without proration, holds categorical grant funding at a minimum of current levels, and directs additional funds to those school districts in most need. IASB positions on appropriations bills will not be taken based on partisan politics.

The state has operated for a full year without a spending plan in place. A series of court orders and opinions has allowed state workers to be paid and state agencies to operate most of their programs. The situation becomes more dire, however, if nothing is accomplished this week. If the state begins the new fiscal year without spending authority, road construction could stop mid-project and some schools will either not open in the fall or close their doors after operating for a month or two. Many of the social service agencies which have been able to hold on for the past year without state funding will certainly be forced to close their doors as we enter a second year without a state budget.

The animus in the Capitol is disheartening. The fatigue among the citizens is oppressive. It is time for lawmakers and the governor to put aside partisan gamesmanship and do what is right for our state, our schools, and our citizens.


***
The latest Alliance Legislative Report includes a call to action.

Alliance Legislative Report (99-49)

CALL TODAY TO URGE SCHOOL BUDGET
June 28, 2016

After failing to approve a Fiscal Year 2017 budget before adjournment, the Illinois General Assembly will meet this week for the first time since it left the Capitol at the end of May. Previously scheduled session days in June were all cancelled as legislative Democrats and the Republican governor were unable to reach a budget compromise. Both the Senate and House of Representatives will be back in the Capitol Wednesday in an effort to put a State spending plan in place – at least for the rest of this year.

School board members, administrators, principals, and business officials need to call their state representative and senator today and urge approval of a K-12 budget for FY 2017. If calls have been made previously – call again today. It is imperative that every legislator hear from local school districts this week to realize the urgency of approving an education budget before the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Besides voting on an FY 2017 elementary and secondary education budget, lawmakers are expected to consider a six-month budget for all other state agencies. This stop gap measure is designed to keep State government operations going while legislative working groups negotiate a full fiscal year budget.

If no budget is in place by July 1, many state functions could cease operating – including road construction projects. The Department of Transportation has warned that ongoing road projects will be shut down immediately if no budget is in place by July 1.

Updates on this week’s legislative action can be found by watching for Alliance Legislative Reports, the IASA Capitol Watch, this IASB Blog, and following IASB on Twitter.

Friday, June 24, 2016

July/August Journal lures summer readers

Summertime is is a great time to catch up on reading. The July/August issue of The Illinois School Boards Journal dives into a variety of education topics, from early childhood to dual credit and from music to mentoring.

With the retirement of longtime General Counsel Melinda Selbee, Kimberly Small takes the lead on IASB’s legal team. Students and the community are hooked on mentoring in stories by Carol Valentino-Barry and Kevin C. Moore from Ridgewood High School in Norridge. This issue’s Practical PR column tackles PERA.

Trace the timeline of the 30-year history of dual credit in Illinois with a piece by Hans Andrews. And the Journal concludes its series on art education with a few lines on music from Darcy Nendza, a school board member and the executive director of the Illinois Music Education Association.

Watch for the print edition in your mailbox, or click here or below to read the full digital edition


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Budget frustration continues

Given the failure to approve a budget for the coming fiscal year by the scheduled session end in May, and the fruitless first half of June that still has produced no state budget compromise, education leaders across Illinois are left disappointed and frustrated. Despite pronouncements by the Speaker of the House that the chamber would be in “continuous session” and would meet at least every Wednesday of June, House members have not yet returned to the Capitol this month. The Senate has never set a tentative session schedule but is prepared to meet “at the call of the President,” but that chamber has not convened in June either.

Citing that the legislative budget working groups have been meeting regularly and are “making progress” towards at least a six-month budget agreement, the House Speaker has cancelled the June scheduled session days up to this point. There is still hope that by July 1 or shortly thereafter both the Senate and House will return to the Capitol and approve a Fiscal Year 2017 spending plan for K-12 education. Senators have been advised to be ready for legislative session next week at some point, though no specific day has been set.

Mindful of the worst-case scenario, the executive directors of the Alliance organizations, with technical assistance from the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, prepared and distributed to school districts a Budget Crisis Toolkit. The packet includes information regarding a school district’s decision to open schools in the fall if a state budget has not been implemented. Highlights include procedures regarding local resource measurements, decision-making options, communication with key local stakeholders, and other items to consider if a school district cannot open schools in the fall or would only have available funds to operate for a matter of weeks or months. The toolkit is available on the IASB website by clicking here.

Regardless of a local school district’s available resources, the uncertainty that is brought on by having no K-12 budget means that no school district will be conducting business as usual until there is a budget. Some districts will be directly affected sooner than others – possibly to the point of having to close the school doors – but all districts to some extent depend on state support. Core academic programs, ancillary student support services, special education services, student breakfasts and lunches, extracurricular activities, and arts education will all be in jeopardy in certain school districts across the state.

It is the responsibility, duty, and moral obligation of the state to provide support for the students, parents, and schools of Illinois. Lawmakers must adopt a FY 2017 budget by July 1.

Alliance leaders say it is imperative that local school district officials include their communities in the discussions as to the possible repercussions of having no budget in place. Parents and community members should also be urged to contact their state representatives and senators and tell them to approve a FY 2017 budget for K-12 education as soon as possible.

Click here to view a video of IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy discussing the impact to schools if a state budget is not approved.

2016 Digest of legislation

Descriptions of bills passed this spring that are now on the governor’s desk are summarized in the 2016 edition of Digest of Bills Passed

The IASB Governmental Relations Department prepares this publication for the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance, containing a list of education-related bills that were approved by the legislature during the spring session. The legislation included is categorized by topic and bill number, with each containing a brief summary of the proposal.

The Digest of Bills Passed is intended to provide local school officials with the necessary information to advocate for or against initiatives that the governor will be considering in the coming weeks. It is suggested that board members and school leaders contact the governor’s office regarding any bill that may impact or influence local education decisions.

The publication, which is available online, will be mailed to IASB member districts in late June.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Governance recognition program honors board work

Application forms are available here.
The deadline is nearly at hand for school boards to file an application for consideration  in IASB’s School Board Governance Recognition program.

The  program acknowledges boards of education that learn and practice effective governance behaviors as identified in IASB’s Foundational Principles of Effective Governance and participate in IASB programs and activities. 

The program’s primary focus is on full board development and participation rather than individual board member efforts.

“Excellence in local school board governance requires full board commitment to obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities critical to good governance, which is something effective school boards understand,” said Dean Langdon, IASB’s associate executive director, board development and TAG.

It is that commitment that provides the opportunity for the board to practice and model continuous improvement and life-long learning for the staff, students and community, according Langdon. In return, the board becomes better prepared to make a difference, to provide leadership for district improvement and to leave a lasting legacy for the district, the community and, most importantly, its students, he added.

The awards are handed out at division meetings in the fall.
To help facilitate what boards need to do to complete the application, a checklist is available for download now. Additional information and details can also be found in an online tutorial video.

Applications are due by Aug. 3. Boards that meet the requirements will receive awards at fall division meetings and get acknowledgement at the Joint Annual Conference in November. Boards may apply every two years.

Questions about the School Board Governance Recognition program should be directed to Peggy Goone at extension 1103 or by email at: pgoone@iasb.com.

Monday, June 20, 2016

ISBE Briefs

Vision 20/20 Evidence Based Funding Model presented to Board
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.
To learn more about the Evidence Based Funding Model visit the Vision 20/20 website.

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.

Upcoming Deadlines
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 waivers@isbe.net.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NSBA Advocacy Institute held in D.C.

A large Illinois delegation met with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk on June 14.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) held its Advocacy Institute June 12-14 in Washington, D.C., to help school board members learn and become effective advocates for their local school districts and for public education.

The sessions covered the implications of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), how to develop talking points for meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Title IX applications to transgendered students, and how to develop a grassroots engagement plan.

Participants met with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss school board issues and priorities. Illinois representatives met with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, U.S. Reps. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth), Randy Hultgren (R-Dixon), and Robin Kelly (D-Matteson). Additional meetings were held with staffers for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and staff members for Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates).

The Illinois contingent included IASB President Phil Pritzker, Vice President Joanne Osmond, and Immediate Past President Karen Fisher. Representing IASB were Executive Director Roger Eddy and Director of Governmental Relations Susan Hilton.

“This meeting offers school board members from across the nation the rare chance to get the inside track on advocacy focused on the federal impact of public education,” said Susan Hilton. “The event this year drew hundreds of board members, including the largest contingent from Illinois in many years.”

Illinois school board members who attended were Kathleen Burley of Community Unit School District 300 (Algonquin); Mable Chapman, Pamela Cudjo-Kelly, Margie Hudson-Walker, and Bonnie Rateree of West Harvey-Dixmoor SD 147; Quinton Foreman, Vanessa Hatcher, Rosalyn Hathorn, Andrea Kidd, Valencia E. Ross, and Frank Tanniehill of Lincoln Elem SD 156 (Calumet City); Deborah Birmingham of Ball-Chatham CUSD 5 (Chatham); Nakia Hall of Crete-Monee CUSD 201U (Crete); Scott Linn of Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102 (Deerfield); Anne Sorensen, Lake Bluff ESD 65; Robert Moorman of Lake Forest CHSD 115; Janet M. Rogers, Harvey SD 152; and Suzanne Sands of Lake Forest SD 67, along with Michael V. Simeck, superintendent of Lake Forest SD 67 and Lake Forest CHSD 115; Elliott H. Johnson, and Eric Perkins of Matteson ESD 162.

More information about the Advocacy Institute can be found on the NSBA website.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2016-2017 Illinois School Code Service now offered

IASB is now accepting pre-orders for the 2016-2017 Illinois School Code Service. The newest edition is offered in a package that includes both the 2016 Illinois School Code and next year’s 2017 School Code Supplement.

The Code is available both in print and in an online digital version. Included are annotations with case law and other references, all State Board of Education rules, and the text of court cases cited in the annotations.

Current through all of the 2015 legislative session (including December), the 2016 Code also carries a large number of additional statutes pertinent to the public schools, including the following: Illinois School Code and Related Acts, Professional Services Selection Act, Emancipation of Mature Minors Act, Truth in Taxation Act, Local Records Act, Prevailing Wage Act, School Visitation Rights Act, Employees Tort Immunity Act, and the Prompt Payment Act.

A complete index is also included to make finding the current law on school-related matters easier.

The 2016 Illinois School Code, and instructions for accessing the digital version, will be shipped upon receipt of order, while the 2017 School Code Supplement will be automatically shipped when it becomes available in 2017. The two are combined to eliminate the need for ordering the Supplement, thus saving districts time in receiving the Supplement and saving IASB the extra cost of handling a separate order.

The regular price for the 2016-2017 Illinois School Code Service is $65 each, while the price for IASB member districts is $55, plus $7 per order for shipping within the continental U.S.

Pre-order online at the IASB Bookstore, or call 217/528-9688 ext. 1108.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

IASB celebrates employees, honors retirees

The upcoming months will include several staff changes, and the Illinois Association of School Boards appreciates and celebrates the service of several longtime employees. IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy recognized these individuals at an all-staff meeting in Springfield on May 23.

Officially retiring on June 30 are four staff members: Jerry Glaub, communications consultant and former director of publications and deputy executive director; Janice Kidd, assistant manager for technology; Melinda Selbee, general counsel; and Donna Johnson, director of executive searches.

Jerry Glaub retires at the end of the month after serving IASB for nearly 47 years. He came aboard as director of publications and public relations in 1969 and eventually served as deputy executive director of member services. He retired from full-time work May 1, 2007, but since then has served as a communications consultant.

Janice Kidd has been with IASB for 28 years, most recently as assistant manager for technology. Kidd was the go-to person for staff needing expertise on IASB’s database system, as well as participating in the ongoing transition to a new association management system. Kidd was also the chief potluck planner for IASB’s Springfield office. Upon her retirement, her efforts in both capacities will be missed.

General Counsel Melinda Selbee is retiring after 26 years of service to IASB. Selbee created the Office of General Counsel and was the original developer and editor of IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS), the premier school policy service in the state. The current IASB Assistant General Counsel, Kimberly Small, will serve as General Counsel beginning July 1. Click here to read more about the transition.

Donna Johnson, director of IASB’s Executive Searches department, had worked for IASB for 15 years, beginning in field services, where she was also a director, later assisting school boards in recruiting and selecting superintendents. She also served a term as chair of the National Association of Superintendent Searchers. Her replacement will be Tom Leahy, who has been working as a consultant in the Executive Searches department.

Also at the May meeting, several individuals received acknowledgement for milestone years of service to IASB:

5 Years:
Brenda Watkins, Administrative Assistant, Field Services
Brian Zumpf, Consultant, Policy Services

10 Years:
Nesa Brauer, Trainer, Board Development
Sandra Kwasa, Director, Board Development
Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services, Communications
Julie Niewinski, Administrative Assistant, Policy Services

20 Years:
Anna Lovern, Director, Policy Services

40 Years:
Doug Blair, Consultant, Executive Searches

Friday, June 10, 2016

Newspapers honored with Cole Awards
for school governance coverage

Three Illinois newspapers and their reporters earned top honors for coverage of school governance issues at the 2016 Illinois Press Association’s “Best of the Press” presentations on June 10. Each received the Robert M. Cole Award, sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards, which recognizes outstanding coverage of education issues that emphasize the community’s connection with its local public school district.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stay on top of the headlines
with Leading News

Icon of Leading News
As a service to our membership, IASB offers news headlines on this, the Illinois School Board News Blog.

Leading News is a daily collection of public education-related headlines from across the state and nation. Association members understand the importance of staying informed, not only on the major education issues of the day, but also concerning which topics the media is prioritizing. Leading News is one way school board members can meet the directive of the Code of Conduct for Members of School Boards that states:

"I will be sufficiently informed about and prepared to act on the specific issues before the board, and remain reasonably knowledgeable about local, state, national, and global education issues."

You can reach this resource by clicking on the Leading News icon in the right column of the News Blog. An archive of Leading News is available there as well.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Coalition promotes standards for afterschool programs

The ACT Now coalition's afterschool standards are here.
Afterschool programs offer opportunities to students before and after school and during summer breaks. In addition to a safe location and afternoon snack, these programs also offer structured enrichment and activities in the areas of the arts, STEM activities, homework help, and physical activity, all better alternatives than young children being home alone for hours each day.

Programs are usually offered through the community, by faith-based organizations, or county or municipal programs. Although afterschool programs are usually not offered by school districts themselves, some use district space. Beyond that, they share the goals of school districts to maximize student success and can contribute to positive outcomes for the district’s students.

Friday, June 3, 2016

VIDEO: IASB Government Relations discuss the 'end' of spring session

IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm sat down with Assistant Director Zach Messersmith to discuss the "end" of the General Assembly's regular spring session and the prospects of passing a budget and school funding plan for the upcoming fiscal year.


If this video is not displaying correctly, click here.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Opinions on Education

The following are editorials, commentaries, and opinions from various sources regarding public education, collected in May 2016. Comments and opinions of websites linked from this page do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Click on each headline to read more.

Public Education Must Be Our New Frontier
Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), Huffington Post Education, May 4

Mego: This one idea could be solution to school funding woes
Bill Mego, Naperville Sun, May 5

Editorial: CPS is getting schooled by Springfield
Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune, May 6

Editorial: School funding system fundamentally unfair to many
Editorial Board, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, May 8

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Alliance Legislative Report 99-48


SESSION ADJOURNED; NO BUDGET APPROVED

For the second consecutive summer, the Illinois General Assembly will be in “continuous session” as lawmakers search for an elusive budget deal. Like last year, the legislature adjourned without approving a budget for the coming fiscal year. A mixture of court orders and the shifting of revenues from dedicated funds into the General Revenue Fund have allowed the state to be operational for the past 11 months even though no spending plan was ever adopted by lawmakers.

Groups of legislators had been meeting in “working groups” for the past several weeks in hopes of reaching a budget compromise. Even though the groups reportedly had been making progress, House Speaker Michael Madigan announced early in the day Tuesday that there would not be enough time to draft and pass an agreed bill and that the House would be meeting each Wednesday of June to keep working on a Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Governor Bruce Rauner responded by calling for a "stop-gap" six-month budget to keep state government operating and to assure school districts that funding would be available to open schools in the fall. This plan was rejected by the Democrat majorities.

But both the House and Senate continued to work into the night and adjourned as the clock was approaching midnight. The House will return to the Capitol on Wednesday, June 8; the Senate is adjourned until “the call of the chair.”

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 99-48, including updates regarding K-12 education appropriations and  proposals to change the school funding formula.

IASB officer nominations open

The nominating committee of the Illinois Association of School Boards is seeking candidates for the offices of president and vice president.

The following criteria will be used by the committee in considering nominees:

•    leadership experience and participation in IASB activities
•    leadership on a local school board
•    involvement with other education-related organizations
•    other leadership experiences
•    special talent or interests of benefit to IASB as now constituted

Nominating forms are due to be submitted by early August, and candidates will be interviewed that same month. A slate of candidates will be presented to the Delegate Assembly meeting in Chicago at the 2016 Joint Annual Conference in November.

To request necessary forms, interested candidates should email: cmontrey@iasb.com or phone 217/528-9688, ext. 1143.