Friday, August 18, 2017

School districts consider eclipse study, safety

Permanent eye damage can result from viewing
the sun with unprotected eyes or unsafe glasses.
School districts in, or even near, the path of totality of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse have made decisions
regarding how they are managing the science and safety of eclipse viewing with their students.

Although some Illinois school districts don’t open until after Aug. 21, many started classes last week.
Monday’s eclipse will be total in a swath of the southern tier of the state, including Carbondale near the center, Cahokia to the northwest, Harrisburg to the east, and Mounds to the south. Areas in and around Anna, Benton, Waterloo, Harrisburg, Marion, Herrin, Metropolis, and Vienna will experience totality.

Permanent eye damage can occur from looking at the sun with unprotected eyes. People’s interest in seeing the eclipse overcomes their instinct to look away from the sun. As reported in The Southern Illinoisan, the effect of the sun (even when partially covered) on human eyes is more powerful than the effect of focusing the sun through a magnifying glass to burn leaves.

Edwardsville SD 7 announced in July that it was cancelling classes for Aug. 21, based partly on dismissal times. Students would normally be released from school during the time of afternoon eclipse. School officials also feared they would not be able to prepare for safe observation, or to obtain safety glasses for all students. Edwardsville will experience 99.5 percent totality at 1:18 p.m.

The district’s announcement said “the solar eclipse presents a hazard to students if they cannot be kept indoors during the entire time of exposure of almost three hours. Since the District cannot safely dismiss all students at any time during the solar eclipse on August 21, the District 7 Board of Education approved an amendment to the 2017-18 school calendar to make August 21 a day of non-attendance…”

Granite City CUSD 9 followed suit, also with safety and dismissal concerns. In St. Claire County, Brooklyn USD 188 has a teacher institute day. In Carbondale, Unity Point SD 140, Carbondale ESD 95, and Carbondale Community High School District 165 will be closed.

School districts that won’t experience totality are taking advantage of the learning opportunity. Around Champaign, school districts began preparing last year for that area’s 90 to 95 percent totality. The Danville Public School Foundation purchased 7,000 pairs of safety glasses for student use. Elgin-based School District U-46 offered training for teachers and required permission from parents for eclipse-related events. The Elgin area will experience approximately 86 percent totality.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-39)

FATE OF SB 1 STILL UNCERTAIN 

The Illinois House of Representatives convened in session today (Wednesday) but took no action on the amendatory veto of SB 1. Governor Bruce Rauner issued his amendatory veto earlier this month and the Senate voted to override the governor’s action Sunday (Aug. 13). When the House first scheduled Wednesday’s session, most observers assumed the intent was to attempt the veto override. But it became evident earlier in the week that such action was not going to be on the agenda for the single day session.

Instead, the House held a committee hearing on House Amendment #4 to SB 1947 which contains language that is identical to the governor’s amendatory veto revisions. The amendment was sponsored by House Democrats, all of whom oppose the governor’s proposals. Republicans cried foul saying that this amendment was not a serious attempt at addressing the school funding impasse, but was political in nature.

Several school superintendents were on hand to testify before the appropriations committee. The often emotional hearing contained heated exchanges between witnesses and legislators. The passionate debate continued onto the House floor when SB 1947 was considered. The amendment was defeated with zero “yes” votes, 60 “no” votes, 33 “present” votes, and with 25 House members not voting.

Negotiations to reach compromise on an evidence-based school funding formula will continue, but instead of the bipartisan group of legislators who have been meeting, the legislative leaders will meet on Friday. The result could be a House override of the governor’s actions, thereby restoring SB 1 to the version that was originally approved by the House and Senate in May – then approving subsequent legislation (a “trailer bill”) that contains education provisions favored by Republicans. One component could be a statewide private school voucher program that the governor has recently pushed. House members must take action on the amendatory veto of SB 1 within 15 days of when it was officially read into the record in the House. It was read into the record on Monday, Aug. 14.

The Alliance is opposed to any voucher, scholarship, or tax credit designed to redirect state funds from public schools to non-public schools.

Both the Senate and the House are now out of session and will return at the call of the president and speaker. House Speaker Michael Madigan indicated that House members will return next Wednesday, Aug. 23rd.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Registration opens for Pre-Conference Workshops

IASB will offer eight pre-conference workshops at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference on Friday, Nov. 18. Participants can choose either full-day workshops beginning at 8 a.m. or select from half-day options with 8 a.m. or noon start times.

The four full-day workshops include the following topics:
  • The Basics of Governance
  • Leading Leaders: The Job of Board President
  • Professional Development Leadership Trainings (PDLT) and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) Training for School Board Members
  • Monitoring District Performance: Saying What We Mean and Doing What We Say
The four half-day workshops include these topics:
  • Data First for Governance: Using Data to Make Decisions (morning only)
  • Superintendent Evaluation: The Essential Work of the Board (afternoon only)
  • Get Your Message Out: Your Role in Crafting an Effective Public Image (morning or afternoon)
  • The R Factor: How to Manage the One Thing You Control (morning or afternoon)
All eight sessions will take place at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 East North Water Street, which is across the river from Hyatt Regency Chicago. A separate fee is required for the workshops, and attendees must be registered for the annual conference. Full-day tuition is $280 and includes breakfast, lunch, and materials. Half-day tuition is $140, and includes breakfast or lunch. Participants can mix and match two half-day trainings for the same price as a full-day workshop. All pre-conference workshops are a part of the IASB’s LeaderShop Academy program, which earns attendance credits for board members.

Registration can be done online.


Monday, August 14, 2017

School designs submitted for awards

All 26 entries will be on display throughout the Conference.
Twenty-six school design projects have been submitted for judging in the 2017 Invitational Exhibition of Educational Environments. 

Awards in the 29th annual competition will be decided by a blind jury pool of architects and superintendents at IASB offices in Springfield on Sep. 21. The event is sponsored by IASB Service Associates.

Winning projects will be announced at the First General Session on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. In addition to the Award of Distinction winners, which is the highest level, the jury will choose project winners for Awards of Merit and Honorable Mention.

A description of last year’s winners can be viewed here.

All 26 entries will be on display throughout the Conference and will be added to IASB’s School Design Data File. This searchable online database is available for use by school districts and architectural firms and is updated each year after the competition. It currently contains more than 500 Illinois public school design projects in a database housed on the IASB website.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-38)

SENATE OVERRIDES AMENDATORY VETO
The Illinois Senate voted to override the governor’s amendatory veto of SB 1. In the Sunday afternoon session, Senators voted 38-19 to reject Governor Bruce Rauner’s revisions to SB 1. If the House of Representatives also successfully votes to override, the bill will become law as originally approved by the legislature.

The bill passed the Senate in May largely mirroring the Vision 20/20 evidence-based funding proposal. The House of Representatives also approved the bill, but only after adding two amendments regarding Chicago Public Schools. When the bill finally reached his desk in August, the governor removed the language added by the House and made several other significant revisions to the proposed new formula. Many of the governor’s changes would have a negative impact on public schools that depend on the funding formula.

SB 1 will now be sent to the House for consideration where it faces an uphill fight in the effort to override the governor. The House returns to the Capitol on Wednesday. If the House fails to achieve the 3/5 vote necessary to override the governor, it will be the death of SB 1.

With a number of legislators wanting a funding formula bill that lies somewhere between the House version of SB 1 and the governor’s revisions of SB 1, a bipartisan group of legislators continue to work together to find compromise language in the event the House override effort of the SB 1 veto is defeated. Other action in the Senate today placed HB 3163 in a posture in which it can be used as a new vehicle for school funding reform legislation.

The Senate set no firm return date as it adjourned until the call of the chair.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-37)

Alliance Legislative ReportLEGISLATURE SETS DATES FOR RETURN
As was reported in the last Alliance Legislative Report, the deadline to take action on the governor’s amendatory veto of SB 1 is fast approaching. The Senate will return to the State Capitol on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. SB 1 sponsor, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), has indicated that he will file a motion to override the governor’s veto of the bill thereby restoring it to the version that was approved by the legislature in May. No motion has been officially filed as of today. The motion to override the amendatory veto would take a 3/5 majority vote.

The House of Representatives will reconvene on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 11:00 a.m. If the Senate votes to override the veto of SB 1, it would be sent to the House for consideration. The House has also scheduled a meeting of the education appropriations committee for 9:00 a.m. on that same day. The agenda for the committee meeting consists of House Amendment #3 to SB 1947 that mirrors the language in the governor’s veto message.

Even though an appropriations bill was approved for a Fiscal Year 2018 k-12 education budget, funds are not flowing to school districts because an evidence-based funding formula has not been enacted. The first general state aid payment of the new fiscal year was scheduled to be distributed this week, but because of the legislative stalemate it was not made.

ASSOCIATIONS CALL ON LEADERSHIP TO ACT

The Alliance organizations have all taken action to push legislative leadership and the governor to end this school funding crisis. These communications are posted on each of the respective association websites. Today, the IASB president and executive director have issued a letter to Governor Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders urging them to reach compromise so funds can flow to local school districts, and classes can open and continue uninterrupted for the 2017-2018 school year. The letter is posted on the IASB website.

IASB leadership urge Governor, General Assembly to end school funding delay

President Phil Pritzker
Today, IASB President Phil Pritzker and Executive Director Roger Eddy sent a letter to Governor Rauner and legislative leaders urging compromise on a proposal that will allow funds to be distributed to Illinois public schools.

With the start of school only days away, Pritzker and Eddy stated, “School districts are currently attempting to make preparations for the new school year in an environment of complete uncertainty. This uncertainly will affect decisions that will impact the education programming that students receive. Children and parents are feeling the very real consequences of what we believe are very fixable issues.”

The two IASB leaders went on to encourage a compromise between the governor and legislative leaders that will put in place an Evidence Based Funding Model to distribute funds to those with the most need.
Exec. Director Roger Eddy

“This is a real chance to close the equity gap that currently exists in school funding. There is widespread, bipartisan support for this approach. We strongly urge the governor and leaders to work together on a compromise so that our schools can receive already appropriated funding in a timely manner,” said Pritzker and Eddy.

The full letter is available on the IASB website.

New email options for IASB members

In an effort to ensure that members get needed updates and notifications related to their board duties, IASB has changed email delivery providers to a program integrated with the Association’s membership database.

In addition to an updated look, Association emails will allow recipients to customize their communications preferences. Recipients can select from the following email topics to stay informed:

•    Executive director communications
•    Governmental relations
•    Joint Annual Conference
•    Legal updates and school law
•    Division news and events
•    Workshops and board training
•    Stay in touch with IASB
•    Member services
•    Executive searches

Because the new system is tied to the IASB member database, the Association will have the capacity to confirm communications are reaching the intended recipients. Members should check with their district secretary to make sure that rosters are up-to-date within the Association database and proper email addresses are assigned to each board member and administrator.

Members who want to continue receiving all emails do not have to do anything.

To be certain that IASB communications are not defaulting to spam filters, members are asked to add the following email domains to their list of approved “safe senders”: send.iasb.com and magnetmail.net. Members who are not receiving IASB emails should first check their spam folder and make the appropriate adjustment. If the messages still cannot be found, contact the Association, at 217/528-9688.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Roger Eddy:
The Time for Compromise is Now

IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy released the following statement urging compromise among legislators to resolve Illinois' school funding delay.

For the first time in the recent history of this great state, General State Aid payments that were scheduled to be paid in August to support opening Illinois school districts were not made. This has to be extremely sad and disappointing to the thousands of volunteer school board members, dedicated administrators, caring teachers, and devoted school service professionals responsible for the education of 2 million students.

The consequence of this delay threatens the delivery of educational services to all students. Schools are due to open in the next week or two, which means that the uncertainty of vital state funding hangs over the quality and level of educational programming. For some districts, this delay threatens the opening of schools; for others, it may affect how long their schools can operate once they do open.

Innocent children will now be affected in a very real way, even though there is no excuse for putting them in the middle of this artificial crisis. The fact is, that the funds necessary to provide these payments have been appropriated by statute and are available for distribution if only members of the General Assembly would come to a compromise on how these funds are to be dispersed through an evidence-based funding model.

For years, education stakeholders have worked on a new, more equitable funding formula known as the “Evidence-Based Model.” There is widespread, bi-partisan agreement that this type of funding model, coupled with a tiered distribution method that sends available funds to the districts most in need, is a vast improvement over the current funding formula. Of course, the devil is always in the details. But those details can be worked out in a compromised manner, if there is the political will to do so.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the details that can and should be easily compromised are caught up in what has become a toxic, political gridlock with non-stop partisan bickering. The current environment of governing by crisis, dueling press conferences, and holding funding hostage to promote political favor directly affects every student. Imagine the excitement of the kindergarten student heading to their first day of class being crushed because school doesn’t open. Or what about the high school senior preparing for their final year only to have their future put into jeopardy because their school can’t afford to stay open.

It is long past the time for statesmanship and leadership in the General Assembly to put an end to this nonsense, and to be focused on the next generation and not the next election.

For the sake of each and every student, I am strongly urging you to contact your representatives; implore them to come to a compromise that implements an evidence-based funding model; and get your tax dollars flowing to back your schools.

Thank you.

FY 17 categorical funds released

It is unknown when Illinois public schools will see their first General State Aid checks, but some past-due money for districts was released today. Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced that $429 million in mandated categorical grants would be dispersed to districts across the state. The funding represents the Fiscal Year 2017 third-quarter categorical payment that was due in March.

Mandated categoricals are distributed in four quarterly installments per year, and are intended to reimburse districts for expenses such as free lunch and breakfast programs, special education personnel and services, and transportation expenses.

The amount of categorical funding varies from district to district, depending on a number of factors, including transportation needs, and the number of students enrolled in specific programs. In distributing the funds, Comptroller Mendoza emphasized that the money was “no substitute for the General State Aid,” but that the grants should “help provide needed cash flow to schools.”

Mendoza’s entire statement on the release of categorical funding is available on the Comptroller’s website.

Teens serving on school boards

Jake Leahy
Two 18-year-olds elected in April are among the youngest ever to serve on local boards of education, and will join more than 1,400 new school board members elected in Illinois this year.

Jake Leahy was sworn in by Bannockburn District 106 officials in May. Owen Mallery was sworn in by Putnam County CUSD 535 officials just a few days later. Leahy, who turned 18 on March 13, is a few months younger than Mallery, whose birthday is Oct. 10.

Officials admit that having an 18-year-old serving on a board is unusual, but neither Mallery nor Leahy is the first. Aaron Schock, who later served as a state lawmaker and Congressman, won a seat on the Peoria SD 150 Board of Education in 2001 at age 19. He was the youngest person then serving on a school board in Illinois.
Owen Mallery

Jim Tenuto, a spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said his agency does not keep track
of candidate ages, but “it’s probably a safe assumption” that 18 is the youngest age of anyone ever elected to a school district seat in Illinois.

According to the Illinois School Law Survey, the qualifications to serve as a school board member are, as of the date of the election: a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state and school district for at least one year preceding election, at least 18 years of age, and a registered voter. State law also has additional prohibitions that govern qualifications.

Serving at such an age has its own challenges; in fact, both Leahy and Mallery were still students in high school when they were elected.

“No school board member has any power outside of the majority vote, so unless I can convince three other people on the school board to believe the way I believe, nothing will happen,” Mallery told the LaSalle News-Tribune prior to the election. “If there was an issue that came up, I would more than likely recuse myself from voting [on potentially sensitive issues while he was still a student].”

Leahy did not face that same objection because the Lake County board he joined does not govern his school. Like Mallery; however, he does not believe their relative young age detracts from their school board service.

“I think that having a young person who recently graduated will be a great asset,” Leahy told the Daily North Shore a week after the election. “There are six other members of the board who are businesspeople, attorneys, doctors, etcetera….I will bring one new, diverse opinion with hopefully an understanding of what is going on in the school each day,” he said, adding that this  array of experience will create “a strong, diverse environment of different viewpoints.”

Both Leahy and Mallery said they were motivated to run for a board seat by a desire to bring a youth perspective to the school board. Mallery, in fact, has said he ran on a platform of being a youthful voice and trying to make a difference, and nothing more.

But Leahy notes he also was inspired to run to develop greater communication and transparency between the board and the community. He said he wants to get student representation on the board, in addition to soliciting input from various district stakeholders, including recent graduates and community members.

What prepared the teenagers to run?

Mallery indicates he got ready to run by following his own interest in government, as well as some guidance he received from Jay McCracken, the former superintendent. “He had been kind of a mentor to me,” Mallery said.

Leahy said it was also his natural inclination to run in order to get involved in government. He notes that he interned with former U.S. Rep. Robert Dold’s campaign during his sophomore year and worked last year with Republican Rod Drobinski’s campaign for state representative. Leahy also founded the Deerfield High School Political Club.

“I've always been involved politically,” Leahy said. “I pay attention.”

So far, he has attended two special meetings about the district’s budget, and has been surprised by how contentious some budgetary issues were. “There are a lot of weighty issues to consider,” he said.

Likewise, Mallery said the budget is the key agenda item he has considered thus far. He said his board meetings have not surprised him, though, because he had a good idea what to expect from the mentoring he received from former superintendent McCracken.

The recent high school graduates hope to accomplish things of real value in board service.

Leahy said: “I’m most looking forward to improving the everyday environment of the students and teachers in the school.” He says a key part of that is to advocate for the establishment of an advisory board for students, parents, recent alumni, and community members within the school district.

Mallery has focused his intentions, again, on providing the board with a young person’s perspective.

The immediate plans of both Mallery and Leahy include higher education.

Mallery says he is attending Bradley University this fall, heading off to Peoria, which is not a long drive from Putnam County. He has been making arrangements to drive home or video chat for meetings if needed.

Meanwhile, Leahy, who will be living a 2.5-hour drive away from his home near Deerfield at a dormitory on the University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus, plans to study public policy and law.

Leahy said he is arranging his class schedule to work around monthly board meetings. He said he'll also maintain open lines of communication with constituents through various means, including social media.

Although both know they will have to make some sacrifices, they are not worried.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-36)

TIME IS TICKING ON VETO OF SB 1

If SB 1 is to have any life at all, the Illinois Senate must take action on Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto by Wednesday, Aug. 16. Though there has been no official call for senators to reconvene, the Senate Democrat website indicates that the Senate will return to the Capitol on Sunday afternoon.

The Senate
The governor issued his amendatory veto of SB 1 on Aug. 1 and the clock starting running at that time. The Senate has 15 days to entertain a motion on the matter – either to accept the changes in the amendatory veto or to override the veto. No motion has yet been filed. It would take a 3/5 vote of the Senate to approve either of the motions. If either motion fails, or if no action is taken on the veto, SB 1 would die. If a motion did receive the prerequisite vote total, the bill would be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. Details on the amendatory veto are contained in Alliance Legislative Report 100-35.

The House
The House has not set a date for return either as there is no action for that chamber to undertake until the Senate dispenses with SB 1. Some House members have said they expect to return the week of August 21st. However, a committee met earlier today (Wednesday) to discuss the amendatory changes the governor made to SB 1. House Democrat Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie filed an amendment to SB 1947 that mirrors the language in the governor’s veto message. No vote was taken, in fact a quorum of the appropriations committee was not present, but it did allow those opposed to the governor’s changes to go on record with their concerns.

The Status
SB 1 contains an evidence-based funding formula that would replace the current General State Aid formula that has been used since 1998. The bill was approved by the General Assembly on May 31. In July when the legislature approved a budget bill that made appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018, a provision in SB 6 stated that general school funding must be distributed through an evidence-based formula. Since no evidence-based formula has yet been enacted, no funding is flowing to public school districts through a general formula.

The Possibilities
The Senate could vote to accept the amendatory changes of the governor. With the strong opposition to the proposed changes by Democrats, there is no chance of this happening. The legislature could vote to override the governor’s veto thereby enacting SB 1 into law as it originally passed. This is possible, maybe even likely, in the Senate as the Democrat majority holds a 3/5 majority. However, that outcome is doubtful in the House as it would require a number of Republican votes. Thus far, Republicans have been united in vowing to oppose an override of the SB 1 veto.

There could be an agreement between the warring parties on the general concepts of evidence-based funding and the compromise language could be amended onto a different piece of legislation. If such a bill could acquire the 3/5 votes necessary, it would be sent to the governor. If the governor agreed with the compromise, the bill could be signed into law relatively quickly. If he did not agree, he could sit on the bill for up to 60 days, thus further stringing out this nightmarish situation for local school districts.

Another idea that is being bandied about in some circles, is to file suit and ask the courts to intervene and allow funding to flow to school districts through the current funding distribution formula until the current stalemate is resolved. This would not make any improvements to the formula, but would allow school districts to receive funding for the current fiscal year, ensuring that all schools in the state could remain open to educate students.

The Additions
As if all of the above scenarios do not make for enough conflict, chaos, and confusion, a couple more issues have been put on the table for discussion. The governor’s repeated call for property tax relief through a freeze on property tax extensions is again at the forefront. And a new one thrown out on the table by the governor: a statewide private school voucher/tax credit program. No official language has been filed in the legislature yet, but a version of a voucher program has been share with interested parties. Once this proposal has a little more clarity, the Alliance will provide an analysis.

IASB offers free online courses

The IASB Online Learning Center has recently added three free courses to familiarize members with IASB history, leadership structure, and services.

 “This is an effort to meet our members where they are,” said Sandra Kwasa, director of board development for IASB. “There is a lot to learn about being a school board member, and about IASB, so we’ve developed free content to help new members start the learning process and veteran members expand their knowledge.”

Two recently added free courses were developed as part of IASB’s ongoing effort to improve the division leadership experience and inform members of the division leadership structure. The courses include:

  • Leaders Light the Way: A History of IASB is designed for individuals desiring a deeper understanding of The Illinois Association of School Board’s rich history, which spans over 100 years of service to public education.
  • Leaders Light the Way: Division Leadership was developed for division leaders, those who aspire to be division leaders, or any individuals desiring a deeper understanding of the Illinois Association of School Boards’ leadership structure. Specifically, the course overviews the history of IASB divisions, explains the division structure and defines roles and responsibilities of division leaders.

“We recommend this information for veterans as well as new board members,” said Kwasa. “Those aspiring to leadership roles are well-advised to learn the rich history of the Association, and to understand the division structure.”

The other free course, Searching for the Next Key Administrator, is presented by IASB’s Executive Search staff, providing board members with an overview of the superintendent search process, key considerations before embarking on a search, the role of the search consultant, and the services offered by IASB searches staff.

To access the Online Learning Center, visit iasb.com and click My Account.

Board members are encouraged to develop an ongoing professional development plan so that they can continue to gain knowledge and skills that can be applied to their school board service. IASB’s online courses are offered in an easy-to-use online format containing targeted information on a featured topic, with short question-and-answer knowledge checks. All paid OLC courses offer LeaderShop Academy credit. The LeaderShop Academy recognizes board members who continuously learn by taking workshops and courses within the program. 


Monday, August 7, 2017

IASB accepting nominations for 2017 secretary award

 The late Holly Jack
inspired the award
for board secretaries.
School districts are encouraged to nominate individuals who dedicate their time and effort performing the work of the board secretary for the Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award. Application forms are available on the Conference website.

Nominees must be local district employees (superintendent’s secretary, superintendent’s administrative assistant, or school board recording secretary) who have performed the duties of a board secretary for a minimum of five years.

Qualifications include a passion for work in the field of public education, dedication toward improving the quality of life for others and education in the community, independent problem-solving abilities, constant desire for self-improvement, and innovation and imagination within the work environment.

Application forms must be signed by the board president and superintendent and submitted by Sep. 30. Additional letters of support from individuals may be included with the application, but should be limited to five pages or less. An impartial panel of judges will select the winner who will be honored at the 2017 Joint Annual Conference in November.

More information is available by contacting Peggy Goone, ext. 1103; or by email at pgoone@iasb.com.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lake Division has new director

Ann Dingman
The Illinois Association of School Boards welcomes Ann Dingman of Grayslake to the Association’s Board of Directors. Dingman was appointed to represent the Lake Division at the May board meeting, and her first meeting as an official member of the board will be Aug. 25-26.

“I'm very honored to represent the Lake Division of IASB,” Dingman said. “I look forward to working with the other directors in order to benefit all students in Illinois.”

Dingman has served on the Grayslake CHSD 127 board since 2004. She has previously served that board as secretary, vice president, and president, and several times on the board negotiations team. In addition, she participated on the SEDOL (Special Education District of Lake County) governing and executive boards for five years.

“I'm interested in providing high-quality educational experiences for all children,” Dingman said, “but am especially passionate about the struggling student, whether due to a disability or any of the other myriad of challenges that today's students face.”

She is not new to governance positions. She has also served the Lake Division as director-at-large, vice chair, and chair. Dingman will remain as director until the division election in the fall, for which she is slated for the position of director. She replaces June Maguire, who retired after 36 years of service to Waukegan CUSD 60.

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.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IASB welcomes two new staff

Catherine Finger
Two more new staff members have joined the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) over the past month. Bringing years of education background to the Executive Searches, and Policy Services departments, the employees have hit the ground running at the IASB offices.

The newest member of the IASB Executive Searches team is Catherine Finger. Recently completing her superintendency at Grayslake S.D. 127, she has accumulated over 32 years of education experience in various school positions, including teacher, principal, dean, and coach. Finger will be working out of the IASB Lombard offices.

Boyd Fergurson
Joining the Association’s policy services department as a consultant on June 1 was Boyd Fergurson. A 20-year employee with the Illinois State Board of Education, Fergurson most recently worked as a Principal Consultant in the Special Education Services Division, and before that, in the Accountability Division, including quality assurance reviews. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois and later earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Sangamon State University.

Fergurson filled the vacancy of Shanell Bowden in IASB’s Springfield policy department, as Bowden transitioned to the Governernmental Relations department as an assistant director. Another recent change in the office of governmental relations was the promotion of Zach Messersmith to director.

A full listing of all IASB staff members and their respective departments is available on the Association’s website.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-35)

GOVERNOR ISSUES AMENDATORY VETO TO SB 1
Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday morning made revisions to SB 1 through use of an amendatory veto. The broad gubernatorial power that is authorized in the Illinois Constitution allows a governor to amend legislation that has been approved by the legislature and send it back to the General Assembly to consider his changes. The Senate today read the veto message into the record, thereby starting the clock on the constitutional time limit to take action. The Senate must act within 15 days. The sponsor can file a motion to accept the Governor’s changes, or to override the veto.

SB 1 contains a new evidence-based funding formula for the distribution of the bulk of State funding for schools. The appropriations bill enacted in July states that funds may only flow to schools in Fiscal Year 2018 if an evidence-based funding model is in place.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report (100-35), including what’s next, what’s on the table, and what revisions the amendatory veto includes.

This blog post has been updated due to publishing errors in the original.