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.