Wednesday, January 3, 2018

News from ISBE

Evidence-based funding (EBF) answers provided
School leaders are being asked to
continue to send questions on EBF.
Under the state’s new evidence-based funding (EBF) structure, school districts furthest from adequate school funding will receive more support, and those at or above adequacy will receive less additional funding. ISBE staff are working to calculate the tier funding every district will receive in addition to the base funding minimum (hold harmless). The state agency reports it is on track to voucher the new tiered funding by April, and officials are asking school leaders to continue to send questions about EBF to EBFhelp@isbe.net. This will also help as ISBE staff regularly update their Evidence-Based Funding Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Meanwhile, the state’s “Understanding the Evidence-Based Formula Distribution Calculation” webinar modules offer additional information about the processes for determining a district’s adequacy target and local resources, and the plan for distributing state funds.

ESSA planning guidance now available
The Illinois State Board of Education is now two years in to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) work and guidance is being provided to local school leaders. ISBE submitted the Illinois ESSA State Plan this past spring after 16 months of collaboration and development and over 100 stakeholder meetings. The U.S. Department of Education approved the Illinois State Plan, which includes a new accountability system, on August 30, 2016. ESSA requires each local school district to account on its Report Card: “The per-pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual non-personnel expenditures of federal, state, and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds,” both by district and for each school building, for the preceding fiscal year. This reporting requirement is being implemented for school year 2018-19. To learn more about the requirement, including what can be done now to prepare for it, see the recent presentation for school leaders at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/District-Leaders-Introductory-Training.pdf.