Sunday, December 31, 2017

Winners announced for Conference contests

IASB Homeroom, in addition to being a place for attendees to gather Conference information and learn about IASB products and services, was the headquarters for three prize giveaways, with 31 prizes.

Click below to read about the contests and the drawing winners from 2017.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Conference handouts available
for members, JAC attendees

Handouts from many of the panels presented at this year's Joint Annual Conference are available through the Members Only portion of the IASB website.

Panels with links to their materials are listed by the panel title, hotel location, and room name. The panels appear in chronological order of the Conference, i.e., by the day and time slot they were presented. The only exception to this order is the board secretaries' panels. Those materials are listed after all the other panels.

Note: Panels are only listed if materials have been submitted. Additional panels and their online materials will be posted as they are received. The handouts are links to PDFs or PowerPoints.

The links will be available until Sep. 1, 2018. To download the panel handouts, simply click on the link for the desired document.

The handouts are available by logging-in to the IASB member database, choosing the Members-Only tab at the top of the page, and selecting Annual Conference from the drop down menu. Once there, find the section entitled “2017 Conference Handouts” and follow the link.

Handouts are available to anyone whose name is registered in the IASB member database. This includes board members, superintendents, secretaries, and other individuals associated with IASB member districts.

For detailed instructions on how to log in to the IASB member database, click here.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Educators earn PD hours at Conference

Licensed Illinois teachers who were either registered Conference attendees (board members) or registered guests of attendees were able to receive Professional Development Clock Hours for their participation in the 2017 Joint Annual Conference.

This year's roster includes approximately 180 individuals who took full advantage of the offer.

IASB is an approved provider for the Joint Annual Conference. That means that any licensed Illinois teacher who was registered as an attendee or a guest could receive nine credits for attending the full Conference.

Evidence of Completion (ISBE form 77-21B) and Evaluation (ISBE form 77-21A) forms were available for pick-up at the Conference registration desk. Participants were required to sign in and sign out, in person, at the Conference, to be eligible.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Recapture the moment
in the Conference photo gallery

The IASB photographer had access to all facilities and events at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference and produced hundreds of digital images from this year's activities and functions.

Photographs chosen for this gallery are ideal for use in school district newsletters, websites, and news releases to local media. The photos are also intended for personal keepsakes. A select number of event photos have been and will be published in various IASB materials, newsletters, magazines, websites, and social media.

Members and guests are invited to view the entire Conference photo gallery at no charge. Photographs may also be purchased for a fee.

Click here for details about the Conference photo gallery.

Here's a small sample of what you'll find in this year's gallery:


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Several districts settle contract disputes

Although final contract settlements have been reported in Quincy, Plainfield, and Ashland, one work stoppage was seen recently, along with continuing negotiations across the state. The most recent labor developments have included:

The Quincy School Board and the Quincy Federation of Teachers and Educational Support Personnel reached an agreement Nov. 26 on a new contract, avoiding a strike by more than 400 teachers. Negotiators worked out a four-year deal, since ratified, to run through the 2020-21 school year.

The Rockford teachers union and the school board in Rockford SD 205 continued to negotiate after a contract offer was rejected on Oct. 22 by the 1,741 members of the Rockford Education Association.

But Plainfield CCSD 202 and its local teachers’ organization recently finalized a new labor agreement. After a year of negotiations and a threatened strike, members of the Association of Plainfield Teachers voted to approve a five-year contract with the district on Nov. 1, and the school board ratified the deal on Nov. 6.

Changes to the Plainfield pay scale are retroactive to July 1, and the contract will run through June 30, 2022. The union represents roughly 1,900 classroom teachers and other certified staff.

In Palatine CCSD 15, members of the Education Support Personnel Association union, which went on strike on Oct. 15, returned to work without a contract after a two-week strike. The association includes school nurses, special education classroom aides, and school secretaries. Schools remained open, and a federal judge ordered the employees considered “essential” – nurses and some aides – back to work on Oct. 18. The board presented an offer on Oct. 27 that was rejected; however, as mentioned, striking employees returned to work without an agreement and negotiations continue.

Nearly 450 workers are members of the union in District 15 who have been without a contract. The main sticking point in the Palatine negotiations appears to be annual pay raises.

Elsewhere, a contract impasse between A-C Central CUSD 262 (Ashland) and the A-C Central support staff came to an end when a three-year contract settlement was reached on Dec. 6. Negotiations had broken down after three months, according to a State Journal Register newspaper report on November 8. At issue were wages for transportation staff, cooks, classroom aides, secretaries, and custodians.

The tentative agreement still requires final approval by the school board and the union, but district officials said things are expected to return to normal — with no strike anticipated — once that has happened.

Bargaining between the two sides began in August. The ACCEA voted on Dec. 7 to approve the agreement; the school board is slated to approve the agreement at its Dec. 20 meeting.

Officials have stated the agreement will last three years, retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year.

In other labor developments, a contract dispute between the board of education for West Chicago CHSD 94 and the local teacher union have stretched well into December as the two sides remain far apart on proposed salaries.

Bargaining teams have been unable to reach a deal after more than two dozen formal sessions and 11 subcommittee meetings that began in April 2016. The school board reportedly presented its latest offer, a three-year deal, during a session with a federal mediator Nov. 27. Talks with the West Chicago Teachers Association, the union that represents 141 district employees, have dragged on for more than a year, with bargaining teams still deadlocked over salaries and health benefits.

Union members reportedly were preparing to make a counterproposal when negotiators held a mediation session Dec. 13. Another meeting with the mediator tentatively is scheduled for Dec. 20.

The high school serves about 2,100 students from Carol Stream, West Chicago and Winfield.

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 22, 2017

District ‘Share the Success’ presentations sought for 2018 Conference

The 2017 Joint Annual Conference is a fresh memory, but it is not too early to begin thinking about the 2018 Conference. In fact, school districts and related education organizations are being invited now to submit their proposals (RFPs) for “Share the Success” panel presentations.

Success stories from local school districts and related organizations have long been a strong drawing card at the annual IASB/IASA/IASBO Conference. School board members and administrators from every division come to learn and benefit from the practical experiences “Share the Success” panel presentations provide.

Each year, a select number of districts and organizations are chosen to make presentations. These 60-minute panel sessions — presented by board members, administrators, and other school or community members who were involved in the particular programs to be showcased — are based on actual school system experiences. Presenters give insight and practical information on how to solve common problems. They share discoveries and innovations from programs succeeding in their school districts. They also provide tips on how school leaders can achieve such successes in their own districts.

Proposals for the 2018 Joint Annual Conference are due in the Springfield office by Friday, February 16, 2018.

Click here for submission forms and complete details on developing a Share the Success proposal.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Annual Report now available online for
IASB members

IASB’s Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report is now available online for Association members. The statement outlines the Association’s financial activities for the year, including income, expenses, total liabilities, and net assets. The data also looks at the make-up of IASB membership and the services, products, and resources available for member districts.

The purpose of the Annual Report is to explain and show what the Association is doing, and the means used, to fulfill IASB’s mission and vision. In addition to providing a yearly financial update, the report highlights changes that have occurred within the board of directors and IASB staff.

The entire Annual Report is posted on the Members Only portion of the website. To access the document log in to your IASB account, select the Members Only tab at the top, and choose the Governance selection from the drop-down menu. Annual reports dating back to 2013 are listed within the Members Only section.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

January webinar for board members addresses social media policy

IASB will host a free webinar for Association members regarding social media policies and their importance to school board members. “Board Members: Where in the World are Your Social Media Policies?” aims to address what policies/procedures apply to school board members' social media usage and where you can find those policies.

Kimberly Small, IASB general counsel, will present the interactive webinar running through a number of social media-based scenarios, while pointing to board policies that cover such situations.

The hour-long webinar will begin at noon on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Registration is available through IASB's Online Learning Center. Visit iasb.com, and select the yellow "My Account" button to log in, then choose the red Online Learning tab at the top of the page.

This will be the second webinar presented by IASB, with additional topics to be announced on an ongoing basis. The first webinar, “PRESS Issue 96 – 10 bundles of Legislative Joy,” was held at the end of November and can be viewed here.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Federal Legislative Report 115-07

TAX REFORM

On Friday evening, Conference Committee members released the final version of the tax code rewrite, which reconciles differences between the House and Senate bills. It is anticipated the House and Senate will vote on the final version as early as Tuesday. The Joint Committee on Taxation's preliminary budget estimate of the Conference Committee bill for H.R. 1 indicates that the measure would add $1.456 trillion to the federal deficit over Fiscal Years 2018-2027. According to The Washington Post, the "measure curtails the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Advocates worry that states, counties and cities will have a tougher time raising money for schools - which get nearly all of their money from state and local tax revenues - because those taxes will no longer be fully deductible."

The following are provisions, applicable to education, included in the final version:

Tuition Tax Credits for Non-Public Schools
This provision modifies section 529 plans to allow the plans to distribute not more than $10,000 in expenses for tuition incurred during the taxable year in connection with the enrollment or attendance of the designated beneficiary at a public, private, or religious elementary or secondary school. This limitation applies on a per-student basis, rather than a per-account basis.

The provision also modifies the definition of higher education expenses to include certain expenses incurred in connection with a homeschool. Those expenses are (1) curriculum and curricular materials; (2) books or other instructional materials; (3) online educational materials; (4) tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside of the home (but only if the tutor or instructor is not related to the student); (5) dual enrollment in an institution of higher education; and (6) educational therapies for students with disabilities.

State and Local Tax Deductibility (SALT)
Currently, individuals are permitted a deduction for certain taxes paid or accrued, whether or not incurred in a taxpayer's trade or business. These taxes are: ... property taxes; (ii) state and local personal property taxes; ... At the election of the taxpayer, an itemized deduction may be taken for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of the itemized deduction for state and local income taxes.

Under this provision a taxpayer may claim an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 ($5,000 for married taxpayer filing a separate return) for the aggregate of (i) state and local property taxes not paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business, or an activity described in section 212, and (ii) state and local income, war profits, and excess profits taxes (or sales taxes in lieu of income, etc. taxes) paid or accrued in the taxable year. This provision applies to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and beginning before Jan. 1, 2026.  The language prohibits an individual from claiming an itemized deduction in 2017 on a pre-payment of income tax for a future taxable year in order to avoid the dollar limitation applicable for taxable years beginning after 2017.

Click here to read the entire Federal Legislative Report 115-07, including additional information on the tax reform proposal, net neutrality, and the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Friday, December 15, 2017

ISBE Issues RFP for FY19 Prevention Initiative

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced it is re-constituting its entire Early Childhood Block Grant for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) and every school district that wants to receive a grant must re-apply, even if planning just to continue current services.

This presents a chance for grant winners to change things around – to do more full-day school programming, for example, focused on higher-need children. The preschool applications are due in early January 2018, and in early February for the grades 0-3 programs.

ISBE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Prevention Initiative program for FY19. The RFP form must be submitted by 4 p.m. on February 9.

Please note that an RFP for the FY19 Prevention Initiative program is not available for electronic submission in the Illinois Web-Based Application System (IWAS), the usual channel for filing applications. Eligible applicants must submit an Intent to Apply before submitting an application. Those proposing to provide services for children and families within the Chicago city limits must apply for funds through Chicago Public Schools.

Officials say this opportunity to reinvent the local prevention block grant has not been available for many years, and communities should think broadly about what is required in order to better serve the needs of local children under age five, and their families. School districts must submit a FY19 application to continue and expand existing programs or to access new funding to begin new services. If a program has already submitted a proposal for the FY18 Prevention Initiative, it must still apply for the FY19 Prevention Initiative.

Please check the ISBE RFP page regularly for resources, including the RFP rubric and updates. A Bidders Webinar is forthcoming. Questions should be directed to the Early Childhood Division of ISBE at 217/524-4835 or emailed at earlychi@isbe.net.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ISBE Briefs

IL-EMPOWER pilot districts set
Eighteen Illinois school districts have confirmed their participation in the IL-EMPOWER pilot project. Once a final district has completed the confirmation process, all 19 school districts will be announced by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Thirty providers have been approved by ISBE to administer services under the new statewide school improvement system. A full list of providers, an overview of their services, and their contact information is available here.

IL-EMPOWER will replace the previous single-provider model used by ISBE to assist districts with school improvement. The new system is intended to give schools more choices, while focusing resources on the needs of the whole child.

ESSA district-level reporting
Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), all districts will be required to report per-pupil expenditure data at both district and school levels beginning with 2018-2019 school year. ISBE recognizes the challenges this will present for schools across the state and is working to align the requirements of the Evidence-Based Funding Formula (EBFF) and ESSA to minimize reporting as much as possible.

To assist with the reporting requirements, ISBE developed an “Introduction to Site-Based Expenditure Reporting” webinar to help districts begin preparation for the new standards. The webinar slides and a question and answer document are also available. 

New Evidence-Based Funding Formula resources
ISBE has also created a number of new EBFF resources and updated others to reflect common questions. quick guide and technical guide to base enrollment have been posted, in addition to an updated FAQ

Three new webinars to aid districts in “Understanding the Evidence Based Formula Distribution Calculation” are also available. The webinars are broken into three modules: Determining a district’s adequacy target, determining a district’s local resources, and the distribution of state funds. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Choate recognized for 50 years of board service

Don Choate
At the close of the Delegate Assembly at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference, delegate Don Choate, of Jonesboro CCSD 43, was honored with an ovation for 50 years of service as a school board member.

“It has been my honor and privilege to make a contribution to our schools for so long,” Choate, who is 82, said in recalling the recognition. He noted this was the first time he had ever served as his district’s representative at an IASB Delegate Assembly.

Choate was previously on hand for a similar ovation back in 2009, at the 77th Joint Annual Conference. At that time the longest-serving board member was John Vancil, of DuQuoin, who was likewise recognized for 50 years of school board service.
Choate was recognized at the close of the Delegate Assembly. 
Choate said he is proudest of having formerly served “as board president for 24 years without ever missing a meeting, either regular or special.” He adds that he also previously held the posts of vice president and board secretary.

He has served IASB, as well, representing the Shawnee Division as Resolutions Chair, and serving on the governing panel of the Workers’ Compensation Self Insurance Trust, a pooled insurance program for school districts that is sponsored by the Association.

Choate, who attended college at Southern Illinois University, grew up in Jonesboro, graduating from Anna Jonesboro Community High School with the class of 1952. His career has been focused on marketing and management, utilizing his post-secondary classwork in those areas, and he is currently the manager of store operations and sales for an auto parts company located in Anna.

Choate says IASB has helped him develop as a school board member, and he tries not to miss any IASB division meeting or annual conference, nor does he miss many conferences of the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

His advice for new or prospective board members? “Attend every meeting provided, local, state, and national; and surround yourself with good people, board, staff, and administrators; and stay within the chain of command.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Webinar to share advocacy
storytelling tools with school advocates

The webinar will share tools to more effectively tell the story of
public education and win lawmakers' hearts, minds, and votes,
and may be particularly valuable for Advocacy Institute participants. 
School advocates and supporters will not want to miss Monday’s webinar “Advocacy Storytelling: Winning the Hearts, Minds, and VOTES of Lawmakers.” (Register here to participate.)

At noon on December 12 the presentation will cover the seven key elements of public policy advocacy storytelling. Based on the premise that people have trouble remembering facts, but they never forget a good story, it will walk participants through an exercise designed to develop their own personal story. The aim? To move the hearts, minds, and VOTES of lawmakers.

Organizers say effective advocacy appeals to the heart, the head, and political health of the legislator, and thus participants will learn how to organize and present their stories exercising the tactics actors use.

Insiders say this webinar may be particularly valuable for those who may wish to prepare for the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. from February 4-6, 2018.

The 2018 Institute will give attendees an opportunity to lobby their own members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Meetings with the Illinois delegation will be a particularly important opportunity to discuss the direction of public education and protection of local governance in Congress.

The Institute, to be held Sunday through Tuesday, is designed to update attendees on current federal issues affecting public education and teach effective advocacy strategies. Programing includes interactive panel sessions, nationally recognized speakers, and networking forums to allow colleagues to share best practices in advocacy.

“Attending Advocacy Institute will be a great opportunity to be one of the first voices the new Congress hears from on what their priorities should be regarding public education,” said Susan Hilton, IASB director of governmental relations.

Last year more than 21 board members and superintendents from 12 Illinois school districts took part in the national lobbying event.

IASB also sent officers and staff, including President Phil Pritzker, Vice President Joanne Osmond, Past President Karen Fisher, Executive Director Roger Eddy, Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm, and Susan Hilton.

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Referenda deadlines near

IASB's School Calendar lists dates
and deadlines, including key election dates.
Boards of education have until Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 to place tax and bond referenda or other public policy questions on the Mar. 20, 2018 general primary ballot (10 ILCS 5/28-2). School board secretaries have until Thursday, Jan. 11, to certify those questions to the county or municipal election authority (10 ILCS 5/28-5).

These are among the numerous dates and deadlines for school districts that can be found on IASB’s 2017-2018 Annual School Calendar. For information on past public policy questions, including specific school finance questions, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections referenda search website.









Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Central Illinois Valley
Division has new director

Tim Custis
The Illinois Association of School Boards welcomes Tim Custis of Washington to the Association’s Board of Directors. Custis was seated November 19 on the IASB Board as the representative of the Central Illinois Valley Division. He had served as division Chairman since 1996, and as a member of IASB Service Associates since 2001.

Custis was elected to the Washington SD 52 Board of Education in April. He formerly served as a school board member in two different districts, namely Washington CHSD 308, from 2001 to 2017, including multiple terms as vice president, and Washington SD 50, from 1996 through 2001.

“I am truly honored to represent the Central Illinois Valley Division of the Association on the IASB Board,” Custis said. “I look forward to working with the other directors to benefit the students in our state.”

Custis replaces former division director, Thomas Neeley, who was elected by the Association’s Board as IASB Vice President on November 19 after two years as IASB Treasurer. Neeley has served for 28 years on the Morton CUSD 709 Board of Education.

The IASB Board of Directors is represented by one director for each of the 21 geographic divisions, a representative from the IASB Service Associates, and three officers: president, vice president, and past president. The board meets quarterly and is responsible for the governing policies of the Association.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Conference evaluation survey closing today

This is the last chance for attendees of the 2017 Joint Annual Conference to weigh-in about their Conference experience. The online evaluation survey will close at the end of business on Monday, Dec. 4.

The 27-question survey should only take a few minutes for respondents to complete.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Opinions on Education

The following are editorials, commentaries, and opinions from various sources regarding public education, collected in November 2017.  The views and opinions of authors expressed below do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Illinois Association of School Boards. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by the Illinois Association of School Boards of the linked web sites. All links are provided with the intent of informing readership of issues relating to public education in Illinois.

Editorial Board, The Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 1

Editorial Board, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 1

Editorial Board, The Freeport Journal-Standard, November 1

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Webinar highlights policy updates

IASB's Board Development and Policy Services departments have teamed up to present a webinar, which will cover recent changes in legislation and how these changes will impact the Policy Reference Manual.

The webinar, titled "PRESS Issue 96 -- 10 Bundles of Legislative Joy" is free and will take place Wednesday, November 29 at noon.

Registration is available through IASB's Online Learning Center. Visit iasb.com, and select the yellow "My Account" button to log in, then choose the red Online Learning tab.

Online Survey gathers input
from Conference participants

2017 Joint Annual Conference participants have an opportunity to help IASB improve future conference programming by completing an online evaluation survey. The survey is available until Dec. 4, 2017.

There are five sections and a total of 27 questions on this survey. The sections include planning, Conference features, presenters and staff, overall experience, and what can be improved. The survey should take five to seven minutes to complete.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Federal Legislative Report 115-06

TAX REFORM
On November 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve its version of tax reform, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, along party lines. It is anticipated that the U.S. Senate will vote on its version beginning this Wednesday, November 29. The following are provisions, applicable to education, included in the House version:
  • Limits State and Local Tax Deductibility (SALT) deductions for taxpayers to property tax deductions up to $10,000.
  • Expands Coverdell education savings accounts to allow contributions of up to $10,000 to private schools, thereby providing a tax-advantaged investment account for private school tuition.
  • Terminates advanced refunding that allows districts/communities to refinance bonds at lower interest rates, as well as private activity bonds and tax credit bonds used by school districts (Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, and Clean Renewable Energy Bonds).
  • Eliminates the $250 tax deduction for teachers who use their own funds to augment instructional materials and classroom supplies for students.
The following are provisions, applicable to education, included in the Senate version:
  • Would repeal SALT deductions altogether.
  • Would terminate advance refunding and does not address tax credit bonds or private activity bonds.
  • Would double the $250 tax deduction, to $500, for teachers who use their own funds to augment instructional materials and classroom supplies for students.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Award for top board president
goes to Franklin Park’s Ignoffo

Gregory Ignoffo, president of Leyden Community High School District 212, was presented with the 2017 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award at the Joint Annual Conference on Sunday as the state’s outstanding school board president.

Ignoffo has been a member of the Board of Education in Franklin Park for 18 years, including 12 years as president.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) presents the board presidency award each November. ISBE created the award in 1991 in memory of the late ISBE chairman, to recognize “extraordinary local leadership, in particular in advancing student learning and educational excellence, expanding equal educational opportunities, and resolving major crises or difficulties.”

According to presenter and ISBE board member Ruth Cross, Ignoffo “led a one-to-one technology initiative that was one of the first in the nation to use Google Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education (now G Suite).”

ISBE also noted that the initiative secured a device for every student, but not all students had web access in their homes. Ignoffo partnered with Sprint’s ConnectEd Initiative to secure free WiFi hotspots for all students in need and worked with the District 212 board to require that all new school buses purchased have WiFi, ensuring equitable access to digital learning for all students.

Ignoffo also helped to develop the plan for a five-year, $80 million renovation project for two high schools, according to Cross, including one that is nearly 100 years old. The renovations will include a new daycare and preschool facility that will provide a local daycare option for families and double as a learning lab for students to earn industry child care credentials.

Cross quoted Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens’ opinion that “Greg is the perfect example of what a leader should be.” In a statement submitted in support of Ignoffo’s nomination, the mayor said “When Greg asks, ‘What's best for our students?’ he truly means it, and will stop at nothing to make sure that is the most important issue when making a decision.”

Leyden CHSD 212’s numerous awards and distinctions demonstrate Ignoffo’s continuous pursuit of improvement and excellence in serving students. Leyden CHSD 212 recently received the AdvancED District Accreditation (2010, 2015), College Board National Advanced Placement District of the Year (2014), Chicago Tribune Top 100 Workplaces (2015, 2016, 2017), National School Board Association Magna Award (2015), Digital Content and Curriculum Award - Center for Digital Education (2014), and District of Distinction - District Administration Magazine (2015).

“Greg Ignoffo leads for the whole child, whole school, and whole community,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “He makes sure every student in his district receives what they need to prepare for college and career, whether that’s a computer, academic coaching, or the personal attention of a mentor.”

In receiving the award, Ignoffo told the the 3rd General Session audience, “It is really such an honor to be singled out for something that I have such a passion for, and gives me such joy. On Monday morning I received a call from our Superintendent, Dr. Nick Polyak, stating that I was to receive this honor. Then I realized, ‘how fortunate am I to receive this award in a year when nobody else was nominated,’” he joked, adding:   “Thank you, but we all know this award for me is really for we.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Boards vote on polling places,
sales tax resolutions

A proposal that would allow school districts to request reimbursement from the local election authority for expenses relating to the use of school facilities as polling places was approved by the membership of the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Another proposal supporting a statewide County School Facility Occupation Tax did not get membership approval.

Delegates representing 367 school districts participated.
Representatives from 367 school boards considered resolutions on a variety of public education issues at the Association’s annual Delegate Assembly. The assembly was held Nov. 18 in conjunction with the 2017 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.

In addition to setting legislative priorities, IASB delegates elected a new president and vice president. Joanne Osmond, a member of the Lake Villa CCSD 41 Board of Education, is the Association’s new president. She has represented the Lake Division on the IASB Board of Directors since 1996 and served the last two terms as the Association’s vice president. Osmond replaces Phil Pritzker, a member of the Wheeling CCSD 21 school board.

Thomas Neeley, a member of the Morton CUSD 709 Board of Education, is IASB’s new vice president. He has served as the Association treasurer since November 2015 and has been a member of the IASB Board of Directors for 10 years, representing the Central Illinois Valley division.
Osmond and Neeley will serve one-year terms. The slate was presented by a nominating committee, which was chaired by past president Karen Fisher and included directors Mark Christ, Dennis Inboden, Sue McCance, and Mary Stith. Directors Carla Joiner-Herrod and John Metzger served as alternates.

Delegates also received the Association’s financial report from Neeley and a written annual report from IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy. His report covered IASB’s outlook for public education in Illinois and reviewed the Association’s efforts to manage the challenges of improving that outlook.

A memorable moment took place at the end of the Delegate Assembly, when delegate Don Choate, of Jonesboro CCSD 43, was honored with an ovation for 50 years of service as a school board member.

IASB sets legislative priorities
based on the adopted resolutions.
The resolution process begins at the local district level. Each resolution is originally proposed by a member district, reviewed by a 21-member Resolutions Committee, and then brought before the Delegate Assembly for any discussion and vote. The adopted resolutions set IASB’s policies and establish the legislative direction of the Association and its 843 member districts.

The committee did not approve the one-percent sales tax proposal, submitted by Sangamon Valley CUSD 9, but it was brought for reconsideration by the assembly.

“School districts must look for all sources of revenue, to achieve the elusive goal of equity for all students,” said Sangamon Valley board member Martha Leeper.

“It’s about zip code discrimination, and we have a chance to change it,” said board member Bill Alexander of New Berlin CUSD 16, a co-sponsor of the proposal.

Those opposed to a statewide application of the one-percent tax proposal cited concerns of local control. “The resolution takes the legwork out of it. It is the duty of the board to prove the sales tax to its community. We should allow this to be a local control issue,” said Edmar Schreiber, board member at Bond County CUSD 2 in Greenville.

The Delegate Assembly voted 225-115 against supporting a statewide County School Facility Occupation Tax.

Delegates agreed with the resolution to support legislation amending the School Code to reimburse school districts for costs, including security, associated with providing a polling place for elections. This resolution, proposed by Indian Prairie CUSD 204, Naperville, passed by a vote of 157 to 148.  Some delegates cited the current rancor in politics and the need for safer voting sites. Others said that some districts currently cannot refuse to provide school facilities as polling places, despite the additional burden of attendance issues, staffing, security, and other costs involved in opening schools for elections.

“Public education should embrace the election process,” said board member Tom DeNeal of Harrisburg CUSD 3, who opposed the resolution seeking reimbursement. “We should be teaching young people it is a privilege and a right to vote, not an inconvenience.”

Indian Prairie board member Mark Rising disagreed. “It’s hard for us to protect our students. This does not say we have to stop any current practice. It accomplishes the flexibility needed to satisfy the diversity of districts. It also places the onus on the election commission to look for other, fiscally-sound, polling places.”

Three additional resolutions were approved without discussion. One calls for the Illinois State Board of Education to report discrepancies in state-required test scores, including differences between paper-and-pencil scores and electronic testing, and between electronic testing methods. This resolution was proposed by Altamont CUSD 10.

Another resolution amended a current IASB position regarding the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). IASB will support legislation that allows a school district to levy an amount less than the PTELL limit, without penalty for raising the levy in the three subsequent years. This would encourage districts to levy only the amount necessary each year.

Delegates also reaffirmed an IASB position on state-authorized charter school funding. IASB will continue to support legislation that creates a new methodology for funding state-authorized charter schools. Two other resolutions that were not recommended were not appealed and therefore did not come up for a vote.

These positions can be found online at www.iasb.com/govrel/constposstatement.pdf.

A new IASB Belief Statement, to clarify the School Code to employ competitive bidding practices for technology upgrades and energy savings, was also adopted. This document is also available online at: www.iasb.com/beliefs.pdf.

Monday, November 20, 2017

IASB Board of Directors
holds annual reorganizational meeting

Joanne Osmond, Lake Villa CCSD 41, is the new president of the Illinois Association of School Boards. The new vice president is Thomas Neeley, Morton CUSD 709. Both were elected at the Association’s Delegate Assembly, held Nov. 18 in Chicago. They will serve one-year terms.

Osmond 
Phil Pritzker, Wheeling CCSD 21, who completed his second term, is now immediate past president. Linda Eades, Northwestern CUSD 2, was named treasurer, replacing Neeley.

The IASB Board of Directors also made committee assignments at its annual reorganizational meeting on Sunday, Nov. 19. Joining Osmond, Neeley, Pritzker, and Eades on the Executive Committee are directors Carla Joiner-Herrod, Lindop SD 92; Simon Kampwerth Jr., Peru ESD 124; Mark Harms, Flanagan-Cornell Unit District 74; and Dennis Inboden, Robinson CUSD 2.

Other committees, to be announced, include the nominating committee, the audit committee, and the policy review ad hoc committee. IASB also annually appoints an IHSA representative; co-chairs for the 2018 Joint Annual Conference, and delegates to the 2018 NSBA Delegate Assembly.
Neeley

Sunday’s meeting was the final official event for past president Karen Fisher, Ottawa THSD 140. Fisher has been active on the IASB Board of Directors since 2007, serving as Starved Rock Division director, vice president, and president.

“It’s been a great run,” said Fisher. “The support, encouragement, family, and fellowship I have received from the board and staff of IASB has been unbelievably fantastic.”

The Board of Directors has supervision, control, and direction of the affairs of the Association. The Board consists of elective officers and 21 regional directors. The chairman of the IASB Service Associates and the IASB executive director are ex-officio members.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled for March 2-3, 2018, in Lisle.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Video says ‘thank you’
to local school board members

To recognize the outstanding efforts of the nearly 6,000 elected school board members throughout the state, Wednesday, Nov. 15, is designated as “School Board Members’ Day” in Illinois. The honorary day offers an opportunity to recognize the leadership provided by local boards of education and to build a stronger relationship between school board members, the community, faculty, and parents.

IASB provides local districts with resources to observe the day in their schools and communities.

Links to these materials are available online.

IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy shared his thanks for the service and leadership provided by Illinois school board members is the video message below.


If the video is not displaying correctly in your browser, click here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Districts face learning curve
with new funding formula

With the implementation of a new method to distribute state money to Illinois schools, a natural learning curve is inevitable for all those involved. To assist districts with understanding the Evidence-Based Funding Model, the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) recently held three hearings at locations throughout the state.

Among the topics discussed were the evidence-based elements, adequacy targets and local capacity targets, tiered distribution system, and the base funding minimum. Some of the lesser-known parts of the new funding statute include Chicago Public Schools pension changes, the property tax relief fund, the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) task force, mandate relief, and local property tax reduction via petition referendum.

IASA’s Executive Director Brent Clark was joined by several school officials who have been heavily involved in crafting the Evidence-Based Funding Model over the past three years. Speakers included Gary Tipsord, LeRoy CUSD 2 superintendent; Michael Jacoby, Illinois Association of School Business Officials executive director; Ralph Martire, River Forest SD 90 board president and Center for Tax and Budget Accountability executive director; and Ben Boer, Advance Illinois deputy director.

Key to the new formula are the 26 elements that determine how much each district receives based on an assigned calculation for a number of variables. Those variables include types of teachers, certain support staff, and professional development costs. 

Also included are various student related variables-from English Language Learners to special education to computer technology. All are assigned a value, meaning the district gets an allocated amount of money for each student that fits into the various categories.

The adequacy target is factored by enrollment and student population, while also accounting for demographic based resources that are necessary to create high quality education. What this means is dollars will follow the needs of student learners, directing resources to those most in need.

The combination of the elements and the targets contained within the new law will give districts increased flexibility by showing what each school needs to provide and what it doesn’t. This allows funding to be directed to areas of greater need that serve the district's unique student demographics.

“The (funding) model is a mechanism to determine the amount and how to distribute dollars to schools,” Tipsord said at the hearing held Oct. 18 in Bloomington. “This is authentic, genuine funding reform. This is driving dollars specifically for the purpose of classroom instruction.”
The other hearings were held Oct. 11 in Lisle, and Oct. 19 in Ina.

One of the most important aspects of the new law is that no districts will lose money within the formula. The base funding minimum as stipulated within the formula ensures that districts will not go below the dollar amount they currently receive.

Going forward, the new money allocated to formula will be distributed to districts most in need. A total of $350 million allocated for the 2017-2018 school year will be assigned on a four-tier distribution method.

The bottom two tiers will be prioritized in terms of receiving the newly allocated state funds. The intention of each tier is to work toward closing gaps within the expected adequacy target by meeting certain ceilings and then moving up to the next tier. It is estimated that the state will need to put in around $5 billion to get every district to the tier 3 level. This could take from 10 to 15 years for the lowest-tier districts.

Each school district is treated individually, with an Adequacy Target based on the needs of its student body. The greater the student need, the higher the Adequacy Target. New dollars go to the neediest districts first — those furthest from their Adequacy Target. This is designed to close the gaps in funding that existed in the previous school funding system.

The next step in the process for districts will be ensuring accurate data is relayed to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). That data includes detailed enrollment data to account for subsets of student populations, such as: special education pre-Kindergarten students; students from deactivated/non-operating districts; students served at state-authorized charter schools; and students at state-funded residential schools. Data requirements include the collection of two prior years of enrollment in addition to the current one year of enrollment for the calculation of a three-year average. The greater of either the current year or the three-year average for each district’s Average Student Enrollment (ASE) is used in Evidence-Based Funding calculations.

It is imperative that the data is accurate and verified, because it will serve as the basis for the funding level going forward, according to ISBE officials.

ISBE recently posted an instructional guide online for the Evidence-Based Funding Enrollment Verification Tool, as well as a recording of and the PowerPoint presentation from a Nov. 2 webinar, according to an ISBE website on the topic

District superintendents are being asked to complete the first step in the data verification process by Friday, Nov. 17.

The IASA website contains a number of resources.
A number of resources to aid districts in understanding the Evidence-Based Funding Model have been created. PowerPoints at the hearings, a simplified Senate Bill 1947 presentation, and a breakdown of the 26 Evidence-Based elements are posted on the IASA website. Additional videos, webinars, and a fact sheet are available here

Workshops for administrators and other school leaders are also planned for early next year.



Conference reminders

Those who registered for the Joint Annual Conference by the Oct. 6 deadline should have received their name badges and instructions in the mail. Those who did not should visit the Conference registration desk upon arrival.

Those who already have badges do not need to check-in at Conference registration desk; however, that is where lanyards, ribbons, and Conference program books will be available. These materials are also available at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. The Conference information desk is located on Level IV, one level above the Sheraton lobby.

Note: individuals or groups that canceled their Conference registration without substituting a member(s) from within their district automatically lose their hotel reservations. Hotel accommodations booked through Conference housing blocks are intended only for those registered for Conference and their guests.

More information about the Joint Annual Conference is available on the Conference website or by downloading the Conference app





Monday, November 13, 2017

ISBE honors board members
with ‘Those Who Excel’ awards

State education officials recently honored seven Illinois school board members at the 43rd annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Bloomington. One board member captured the award of excellence, the highest level. Winning board members, and their school district, follow:

Excellence
John Puzauskas
McLean County Unit District 5, Normal

Merit
Chris Kloeppel
Champaign Unit 4 Community Unit School District

Donna Cain
DuPage High School District 88, Addison

Kim Skaja
Huntley Community School District 158

Recognition
Margaret (Peggy) Babcock
Palatine CCSD 15

Ralph Edward Test
Jersey CUSD 100, Jerseyville

Jim Ward
Plano Community Unit School District 88

Lindsey Jensen
Among 228 other educators honored at the banquet was the 2018 Teacher of the Year, Lindsey Jensen, an English and literature teacher from Dwight Township High School District 230.

Jensen says she believes “teaching requires becoming part of students’ lives and making connections that no other professional experiences.” She teaches advanced placement English, drama, Shakespeare, literature, and composition to juniors and seniors in high school. State education officials said Jensen’s peers recommended her because of her infectious positivity, as well as the high standards she sets for students.

Jensen began her career in education as a teacher’s aide in 2005; she is now in her ninth year as a high school English instructor.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said Jensen “exemplifies teacher leadership.” Smith added: “It’s a great time to be an educator in Illinois. The Those Who Excel award recipients show us how educators can unite communities and change students’ lives. These educators showcase the dynamic work happening in schools across Illinois –from the high school principal helping students run their own technology business to the middle school teacher harnessing her own story of fortitude to inspire leadership in her students.”

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates for this recognition. A committee of peers, organized through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), chose the award winners who were honored this year. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

The 235 recipients received recognition on three levels and across multiple categories, including classroom teacher, teams, early career educator, school administrator, school board member, community volunteer, education service personnel, and student support personnel.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed on ISBE’s Those Who Excel winners' list.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sample new releases available prior to Conference

IASB recommends that school boards document all their professional development experiences and expenses at the Joint Annual Conference.

Sample news releases are available to assist those districts that want to pro-actively share what they will do and/or did at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference. These news releases are designed to allow district leaders to specify who attended, how much was spent, and how it all fits into district budget and professional development goals.

Get access by logging-in to the IASB member database, choosing the Members-Only tab at the top of the page, and selecting Annual Conference from the drop-down menu. There, find the section entitled “Sample News Releases,” and follow the link.

IASB also encourages school boards to adopt a policy in support of professional development for board members that permits and encourages ongoing leadership training, including attendance at the Joint Annual Conference. The Association offers a sample policy (2:120) on this subject through PRESS, IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service.

More information about the Conference, to be held Nov. 17-19 in Chicago, is available here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Conference panel handouts posted

Discussion panel handouts and PowerPoints from many of the presentations at this year's Joint Annual Conference are now available on the Members-Only portion of the IASB website. Panels are only listed if materials have been submitted. The handouts will be available for the next several months.

Follow the link from the section called "Conference Handouts"
Handouts are listed in the same order as the Conference program, and they are grouped together by date and time. All submitted handouts from the administrative professionals program are grouped together at the bottom of the listings.

The handouts are available to anyone who is in the IASB member database. This includes board members, superintendents, secretaries, and other individuals associated with IASB member districts.

Get access by logging-in to the IASB member database, choosing the Members-Only tab at the top of the page, and selecting Annual Conference from the drop-down menu. Once there, find the section entitled “2017 Conference Handouts” and follow the link.

The panel materials may be downloaded as PDF files (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) by clicking the link associated with the desired panel title.

For instructions on how to log in to the IASB member database, click here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report 100-49

VETO SESSION WRAPS UP

PROPERTY TAX FREEZE LEGISLATION PASSES HOUSE


Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have adjourned for 2017, a year that saw a full year budget passed, new revenues, and a school funding formula overhaul. The House of Representatives and the Senate are scheduled to convene the 2018 spring veto session in late January.

In previous fall veto sessions, Governor Bruce Rauner was very successful in sustaining a vast majority of his vetoes. However, things were different this year as a number of vetoes were overridden by the General Assembly. The growing number of votes against the governor started with the budget and revenue package (SB 6 and SB 9) overrides in July and largely continued into the fall. One major win for the governor was defeating the override of a bill that would have prohibited local “Right-to-Work Zones” (SB 1905).

The most impactful piece of legislation considered for school districts this veto session was SB 851 (Cullerton, D-Chicago) – the latest property tax base reduction idea to be voted on. To read more about SB 851, click here. The House approved the bill Wednesday on a vote of 75-32-1. A late House amendment also added an additional homestead exemption for long-time occupants. Although the Senate had time Thursday to consider the measure, it was not called for a vote before adjournment. The measure could be considered by the Senate upon its return in January. Alliance members are encouraged to continue the advocacy against SB 851.

OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 1252 (Lilly, D-Chicago) requires a semester of instruction on civics in either of the 6th, 7th, or 8th grades in all public schools (currently just high schools). The bill was approved by the House and is pending in the Senate.

HB 1262 (Currie, D-Chicago) provides that a School Code mandate waiver request regarding tax rates, funds, or transfers shall not be reviewed by the panel of General Assembly members, but shall be submitted to the full General Assembly for consideration. The bill was approved by the House and is pending in the Senate.

HB 2462 (Biss, D-Skokie) prohibits an employer from screening an applicant’s wage history before being interviewed for employment. The Senate failed to override the governor’s veto on a vote of 29-17-1 (it required 36 votes) and the bill is dead.

HB 2977 (Welch, D-Westchester) requires elementary schools to offer instruction on cursive writing. The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto and the bill will become law.

HB 3298 (Scherer, D-Decatur) allows, under certain circumstances, the application fee for a substitute teacher license to be refunded. The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto and the bill will become law.

SB 81 (Lightford, D-Maywood) would increase the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. No vote was taken on the veto override motion and the bill is dead.

SB 403 (Bush, D-Grayslake) creates a natural disaster income tax credit of up to $750 per homeowner for property damaged by the July 2017 flood. The bill was approved and will be sent to the governor.

SB 444 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) makes technical changes to the new evidence-based funding formula regarding English Learners, Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) calculations, and Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) adjustments. The bill was approved and will be sent to the governor for consideration. SB 453 (Lightford) would have clarified procedures for identifying school districts in need of a school discipline improvement plan, school board approval, and submission of improvement plans as prescribed by Public Act 98-1102. The bill also would have created the Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments Program to require self-selected school districts to reallocate funding for school-based law enforcement in order to access matching funding for other social-emotional and restorative practices. On a second attempt on the Senate floor, the bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes and the bill is dead.

Board member turnover
rate reaches 20-year low

The turnover rate of Illinois school board members in the April 2017 election was the lowest seen in the past 10 biennial elections.

New members were chosen to occupy 39.6 percent of all school board seats filled on April 4 (see accompanying chart). IASB records show 1,149 new board members were elected and 1,754 incumbents were re-elected for the 2,903 terms that were expiring. That’s a turnover rate of just 19.5 percent of the 2,903 terms that expired.

The turnover rate over the previous 20 years ranged from 21.7 percent in 2009 and 2011, to 24.6 percent in 1997.

IASB currently has a total of 5,882 school board members in 844 member school districts. There are just five districts that do not belong to the Association. Elections are held every other year for the staggered, four-year school board terms.

The April 2017 election saw a higher success rate for incumbents seeking re-election (60.4 percent) than at any board election in a decade, matching the previous low from 2011. Until this year’s uptick, the incumbent success rate had fallen in three successive biennial elections after reaching a 20-year high of 58.3 percent in 2011.

“Although our turnover rate was rather low this time at 19.5 percent, it has been averaging a relatively stable 21 to 24 percent over the past 20 years, so this year’s turnover was a little bit below the norm. This may mean that voters are mostly satisfied with the job their school boards are doing,” said IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm.

Board member turnover data and finance election data is available online here.

Clare Bourne wins 2017 Holly Jack Award

Clare Bourne
Clare Bourne, executive administrative assistant to the superintendent and board secretary of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47, is the recipient of the ninth annual award for school district secretaries.

Bourne was chosen to receive the service award by a selection committee of previous Holly Jack winners, and Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials past presidents, and retired administrative professionals. She will be honored Friday, Nov. 17, at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago as part of the administrative professionals’ program.

Nominations were made by district superintendents and school board presidents. The judges considered the following criteria: performance, initiative, innovation, staff development, self-improvement, passion for public education, and dedication to the district and community. Letters of support were also accepted.

The award was created to honor the memory of Holly Jack, a long-time employee of the Illinois Association of School Boards, who served as an IASB field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in promoting and developing professional development programs for board secretaries. The award not only honors Holly Jack’s contribution and memory, but also recognizes the extraordinary work and dedication provided by secretaries who serve and assist their local boards of education.

Bourne has worked in Crystal Lake ESD 47 since 1998, serving as a classroom aid and substitute coordinator until 2002. In 2002, she was employed by the district as executive administrative assistant and board secretary, a position she has held since. Crystal Lake ESD 47 is an elementary school district serving 7,600 students in 12 schools with a staff of around 1,200.

“For the past 15 years, Clare has unselfishly dedicated her time and talent to efficiently and compassionately assist our district superintendent, and the board of education, in serving our local school community. She allows our school district to operate seamlessly and effortlessly,” according to Rob Fetzner and Betsy Les, district 47 board president and vice president. “Clare builds positive relationships with most everyone she meets in our district. She takes a personal interest in her colleagues and is one of the first to volunteer to provide assistance whenever it is needed,” they wrote.

Kathy Hinz, superintendent of Crystal Lake 47, called Bourne “a knowledgeable, dedicated, passionate face” for families, staff, and the community. Hinz added, “Her attention to detail, consistency in her actions and decisions, and adherence to board policy is an asset to the entire organization. The district is beyond blessed to have someone like Clare Bourne working in the superintendent’s office and supporting our board of education.”

Hinz said Bourne’s passion for the district and its students is evident every day. She often helps to refocus or re-energize fellow staff, Hinz noted, by asking, “What’s best for the students?” as others become frustrated or concerned about a looming decision or challenge. Her passion is also seen in her participation each year in the “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” district team, a fundraiser for the local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, according to Hinz.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ISBE briefs

Upcoming budget hearings
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has scheduled public hearings to listen to recommendations for the fiscal year 2019 pre-K through grade 12 budget. Hearings are scheduled for Nov. 8 in Mt. Vernon, and Nov. 17 in Chicago. State board of education officials want to hear from teachers, community and business leaders, parents, board members, and anyone else wishing to comment about the real needs of students. Those who would like to attend the budget meetings have been asked to submit their comments via a budget request form, emailed to isbeFY19@isbe.net.

New calendar feature
Earlier this year, ISBE unveiled a redesigned calendar feature for the 2017-2018 school year. The calendar incorporates a number of interactive features giving users options to narrow choices by topic and audience for specified events and activities. The new calendar includes important deadlines and dates, while also showcasing upcoming meetings, professional development opportunities, conferences, and webinars. Each of the topics are color-coded, allowing the calendar to be filtered by event type and suggested audience (teachers, administrators, families and students, community, and partners). The calendar can be viewed on ISBE’s website.

Updated School Code waiver process
ISBE recently implemented a new process created by the General Assembly for handling district waiver requests that pertain to the Illinois School Code. The previous procedure saw waiver reports delivered biannually to the General Assembly for approval. Legislators could approve either the entire report or specific requests.

Under the new law, requests for School Code waivers are reviewed by ISBE and submitted to a review board consisting of a Senate and House member from each caucus. If three or more of the panel members feel that the waiver request needs further scrutiny, the request is then sent to the entire General Assembly for consideration. If fewer than three members of the review panel feel additional consideration is needed, the waiver request can be approved, denied, or modified by ISBE. If no action is taken within 10 days, the waiver is automatically approved. Requests denied by the ISBE are returned to the entire General Assembly for a vote.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Conference registration going offline today

Conference registration will be going offline today, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m., after which registration for the 2017 Joint Annual Conference becomes onsite-only.

From now until the Conference, all new registrations, all cancellations or substitutions, and all changes are to be made onsite. Any hotel changes are to be made directly with the hotels.

More information about the Conference, to be held Nov. 17-19 in Chicago, is available at:
http://conference.iasb.com/.