Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Threat assessment workshops offered

A pair of two-day Student Behavioral Threat Assessment Workshops will be offered in two separate locations next month. The workshops are provided at no cost by the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program.

Presented by Sigma Threat Management Associates, the workshops aim to help participants understand the dynamics of targeted violence and to develop and enhance strategies for early identification, assessment, and intervention with potential dangerous situations.

School administrators, board members, counselors, school resource officers, mental health agencies, and local law enforcement personnel are encouraged to attend.

The first event is scheduled for July 16-17 at Dunlap High School. The second event is set for July 18-19 at Wredling Middle School in St. Charles. Registration is required by July 2. Details and registration information are available at the following links:

The Illinois School and Campus Safety Program provides awareness and preparedness training to enhance organizational capacity to plan for, respond to, and recover from an emergency or disaster. The program is administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute at Western Illinois University.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Federal Legislative Report 115-10


The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), recently published two notices for competitive grant programs for the recently approved STOP School Violence Act. Eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes. School districts interested in these funds should work with their counties and municipalities to apply. IASB will encourage the state to apply as well.

BJA STOP School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program

Funds available for this grant program may be used to address the development and operation of school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, and the development of technology for local or regional anonymous reporting systems. Applications for grants are due July 23, 2018. Further information about the grant program is available here.

BJA STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program

Funds available for this grant program may be used to address training school personnel and educating students to prevent student violence, and training school officials in responding to related mental health crises. Grant applications are due July 23, 2018. Further information about the program is available here.

Monday, June 18, 2018

News from ISBE

Deadlines loom for Evidence-Based Funding allocation reports
on English Learners
As part of the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) law passed in August 2017, the Illinois State Board of Education needs to notify school districts of the total English Learner (EL) funding generated by each school district’s students.

ISBE has completed the calculations for all school districts’ FY 2018 EL funding totals. District funding attributable to ELs needs to be spent on EL services according to the requirements of Article 14C of the School Code, as well as Part 228 of the Administrative Code

Districts need to submit an expenditure report through the period ending June 30 about all funding received under EBF in FY 2018 to show how EL funds were spent for the year. ISBE expects districts to enter their June 30 reports in the Electronic Expenditure Reporting System under revenue code 3305 and program name “Bilingual Ed. – TPE and TPI.” Reports will be due on or before July 20. 

Any EL funds not spent this initial year will be observed as carryover funding for FY 2019, according to ISBE, but must remain for exclusive use to support EL services, and districts should plan to spend any carryover funds in FY 2019.

… and Special Education
The EBF law requires ISBE to calculate the total special education funding generated for each organizational and specially funded unit. This amount includes any special education funds generated under the Base Funding Minimum and Tier Funding. ISBE reports it has completed the FY 2018 special education funding totals. By law, all units of participating districts, and all specially funded units, must use their special ed funding to provide special educational facilities and services as defined in Section 14-1.08 of the School Code.

… and Low-Income resources
Each unit of a participating district is required to describe how it will use the Base Funding Minimum and Tier Funding it receives with specific identification of how they intend to use low-income resources. ISBE has completed the calculations of the low-income resources for FY 2018 EBF distributions. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) don’t need to submit expenditure reports to ISBE for any low-income funds generated under the Base Funding Minimum and Tier Funding computed under EBF.

Questions about Evidence-Based Funding allocations should be submitted to

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LeaderShop Academy Symposium examines key issues in education

Best-selling author Phil Boyle led a key issues discussion at the symposium.
Defining public values and policy choices with a values-based approach, 60 school board members and superintendents participated in the eighth biennial LeaderShop Academy Symposium, presented by Phil Boyle, Pd.D., on June 9 in Naperville.

Titled “Visions, Values, Conflicts, and Decisions,” the workshop was based on Boyle’s best-selling book, Preserving the Public in Public Schools.

Boyle opened with “From Yesteryear to Yesterday,” a history of issues facing public education in the United States, noting that the same issues remain in modern discourse. Then participants got on their feet for a lively, often provocative, exercise. Directed by Boyle, they crossed the room to respond, reason, and explain their “yes, maybe, or no” answers to some of local public education’s most pressing questions.

Participants then reframed their reasoning around the public values concepts of liberty, prosperity, community, and equality. In the afternoon, the group took part in a series of problem-solving and decision-making exercises around a real-life policy question. Boyle’s solution-seeking work asks “How might we achieve the good we seek with the least harm to the good we have?”

Interspersed with Boyle’s discussion and the group work was a series of slides, alternatingly informative, humorous, and thought-provoking. The event tied values identification with solution-finding while emphasizing the need for the public body in public education.

Boyle is a public service faculty member in the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and a partner in Leading and Governing Associates, a public leadership and governance education consulting practice. The Symposium provides professional development for board members who have earned LeaderShop Academy Membership and are seeking advanced leadership skills.

For more information on IASB’s LeaderShop Academy, contact Peggy Goone, at or 217/528-9688 ext. 1103.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NTIA Invites Public Comment about Broadband Availability

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently issued a request for comments to seek data on broadband availability, including information about school and student access to broadband. The purpose of the federal inquiry is to “better identify areas that need broadband investments, so that [NTIA] can be sure any taxpayer funds supporting broadband infrastructure achieve the goal of ensuring connectivity to all Americans.” The intent is also to “identify gaps in broadband availability that can be used to improve policymaking and inform public investments.”

Comments are due no later than July 16, and may be submitted by email to

Monday, June 11, 2018

Joint Annual Conference
registration now open

A new YouTube video shares last year's Conference excitement.
Registration is now open for the 86th Joint Annual Conference taking place November 16-18, in Chicago.

Districts can register for the 2018 Conference online through their IASB “My Account.” It is important that district rosters are up-to-date before beginning the registration process. Individuals not listed in the IASB member database will not be able to register for Conference events. Roster management instructions are located at

Information also has been posted for Conference exhibitors and additional professional development opportunities, including Pre-Conference Workshops, the School Safety and Security Seminar, and the Administrative Professionals’ Program

Questions regarding Conference registration should be directed to the IASB Meetings Management Department at 217/528-9688, ext. 1115

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Panel presentations selected
to “Share the Success”

Twenty-nine panels have been chosen among the 67 proposals submitted by school districts and related educational organizations to present at the 2018 Joint Annual Conference.

A volunteer committee of school board members from throughout the state reviewed the winning proposals for hour-long “Share the Success” presentations set for Nov. 16-18 in Chicago.

Click here to see an entire list of 2018 Share the Success panels. 

For the first time, panel proposals were evaluated entirely online by committee members.

“The entire panel evaluation process was moved online this year, making it easier for the board member volunteers to evaluate the panels. We invite them to be part of the review process and they — independently and individually — rate the proposals,” said Nesa Brauer, an IASB consultant who assists the committee by organizing the selection process.

Proposals were evaluated on a number of key criteria, including:

  • Interest or relevance for board members and school officials
  • Clarity of the proposals
  • Clarity of the objectives, and if they can be realistically achieved
  • A program’s claim to “success” as supported by evidence
  • Creativity and innovation as clearly demonstrated
  • Focus on the work of the board, rather than staff

A full description of all Conference panels and other programing will be available in the Conference Preview, which will be posted on the Conference website in September.

Online Conference registration and housing will open on Monday, June 11. This year, board members will also be able to register for Pre-Conference Workshops at the same time.

The 2018 event will be the 86th Joint Annual Conference with the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO).

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Federal Legislative Report 115-09

In mid-May, the Senate voted 52-47 to approve a resolution (S.J. Res. 52) that would overturn the Federal Communications Commissions’ December 2017 decision to eliminate the agency’s Net Neutrality regulations.   That decision ends net neutrality protections on June 11. Three Republican Senators joined all Democrats in voting to reverse the FCC’s decision.

The elimination of the net neutrality regulations raises several concerns for school districts and other education stakeholders. First, broadband companies may begin charging content providers new fees to deliver digital learning content -- and those costs may be passed on to schools. Second, new entrants into the education technology market may be blocked or have their services slowed by broadband providers that want to feature their own services or applications, or the services of other companies willing to pay for preferential treatment. Third, districts that lack market power -- especially rural and low-income communities served by a single broadband provider -- may be exposed to higher costs and degraded service.

The debate now moves to the House where 166 members are cosponsoring a similar resolution, H.J. Res. 129. See FLR 115-07 for additional information on this issue.

There continues to be no guidance, or additional information, available regarding the Title IV money designated in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations for school safety grants. Information will be disseminated as soon as it is available.

Click here to view the entire Federal Legislative Report 115-09, including updates on the Opioid Crises Response Act and a new arts education grant program.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Newspapers, writers receive Cole Awards
for school governance coverage

The Robert M. Cole Awards, sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards and recognizing outstanding coverage of education issues that emphasize the community’s connection with its local public school district, were presented June 8 at the Illinois Press Association’s “Best of the Press” presentations.

In Division A, covering the non-daily newspapers with under 3,000 circulation, the top prize went to the staff of the Coal City Courant for coverage of Coal City School District Unit 1. The in-depth look at the school district’s finances explained the issue to readers and brought the numbers alive with excellent writing and illustrations.

Division A’s second place was awarded to Will Brumleve of the Ford County Record in Paxton. Third place went to Tom Robb and Dion Martorano of the Niles Journal. An honorable mention was awarded to Fred Kroner of the Mahomet Citizen.

In Division B, including larger non-daily newspapers, first place was awarded to Hillary Dickerson of The Galena Gazette for coverage of the Galena school board for a well-researched, written, and presented piece explaining the district’s referendum efforts, and the reaction to the referendum’s failure on election day.

Second place in Division B went to Megan Braa and Curt Libbra from The News Leader in Highland. Third place was also to the Galena Gazette, for Dan Burke’s coverage of the East Dubuque School Board. Honorable Mention went to Mary (Galer) Herschelman of The Journal-News in Hillsboro.

Two awards were presented in each of the next two categories. In Division C, the largest-circulation non-daily newspapers, first place went to Martha Quetsch of the St. Charles-based Kane County Chronicle for thorough, balanced reporting of several key issues before the St. Charles School District 303 Board of Education. Second place in Division C went to Chris Walker, also of the Kane County Chronicle, for coverage of the Kaneland School District 302 school board.

In Division D for small-circulation dailies, first place went to Owen Lasswell of the Taylorville Breeze-Courier for good local coverage relating local governance to the school district, and connecting that coverage to statewide issues. Sharon Woods Harris of the Pekin Daily Times took second in Division D for coverage of Pekin High School’s board work to combine separate booster clubs into one.

For Division F, including the state’s largest daily newspapers, first place was awarded to Nicole Lafond of The News-Gazette in Champaign for depth of reporting, and clarity of writing which included a well-done superintendent profile and an excellent piece on combatting bullying.

Second place in Division F went to Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star and third place to Jason Nevel from The State Journal-Register in Springfield. Honorable mention went to another News-Gazette writer, Debra Pressey.

The Cole Award is named for Robert M. Cole, the first executive director of IASB. The award requirements emphasize contribution to public understanding of local school governance and support for effective dialogue that helps the community and the school board define major public policy issues. Presentations in 2018 were published in 2017; this contest had 21 entries in five categories and marked the 37th year of Cole Award presentations.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

2018-2019 Illinois School Code Service
now offered

IASB is now accepting orders for the 2018-2019 Illinois School Code Service. The newest edition is once again offered in a package that includes both the 2018 Illinois School Code and Related Laws and next year’s 2019 Supplement.

The Code is available in print with a digital version included at no extra cost. The digital version carries the full text of the Code, plus annotations with case law and other references, all State Board of Education rules and the text of court cases cited in the annotations.

Current through all of the 2017 legislative session (including December), the 2018 Code also carries a large number of additional statutes pertinent to the public schools, including selected election laws and pension laws, Educational Labor Relations Act, Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, Disclosure of Economic Interests, Truth in Taxation Act, Local Records Act, Personnel Record Review Act, Prevailing Wage Act, Emancipation of Mature Minors Act, Tort Immunity Act, Gift Ban Act, and School Visitation Rights Act.

A complete index is also included to make finding the current law on school-related matters easier.
The 2018 Code will be shipped upon receipt of order, and the 2019 printed Supplement will be automatically shipped to customers when it becomes available in May 2019. This service eliminates the need to place a second order for the Supplement and saves districts time in receiving the updated information.

The regular price for the 2018-2019 Illinois School Code Service is $65 each, while the price for IASB member districts is $55, plus $7 per order for shipping within the continental U.S. Orders in increments of six will receive a $30 discount.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-72


Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget into law on Monday. In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Illinois General Assembly approved a full year state budget – balanced and on time – on May 31. Details of the spending plan were contained in the last Alliance Legislative Report. Surrounded by legislators from both parties and from both chambers, the governor presided over a bill signing ceremony in the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Lawmakers are not slated to return to the Capitol until after the General Election in November.

HB 109, the appropriations bill, is now Public Act 100-0586. HB 3342, the Budget Implementation Bill, is now Public Act 100-0587. They became effective upon the governor’s signature.


A provision in Public Act 100-0465, which contained the new Evidence-Based Funding formula, provided for the creation of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Reform Task Force. The Task Force was charged with reviewing the benefits and costs of TIF districts, the interaction between TIF law and school funding, the expenditure of TIF funds, and the expenditure of TIF surplus funds. The Task Force held meetings in which representatives from local governments, education, private industry, nonprofit entities, and the economic development community provided testimony. The full Task Force Report can be viewed here.

The Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance and other school district organizations formed a working group to explore legislative changes to the TIF law. The Alliance gives special thanks to Ryan Linnig, superintendent/principal, Dimmick CCSD 175; and John Izzo, attorney, Hauser, Izzo, Petrarca, Gleason & Stillman, LLC, for taking time to present the group’s recommendations to the Task Force members in Springfield in April. The Alliance will continue to pursue changes to the TIF law reflecting these and other TIF issues as they emerge. The working group’s recommendations to the Task Force can be reviewed on the IASB website.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 100-72, including information on upcoming threat assessment workshops and the IASB resolutions deadline.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

2018 Conference registration opens June 11

Registration for the 86th Joint Annual Conference, November 16-18 in Chicago, will open on Monday, June 11, at 8 a.m.

Public school leaders are invited to “share the vision” at the premier state education conference, presented by the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials. 

School districts can register for the 2018 Conference online by selecting “My Account” at Individuals not listed in the IASB member database cannot register for events, so it is important that school district rosters are up-to-date before registration. Roster management instructions are located at

Additional registration information was sent via email on June 5. Conference announcements and updates are available at

Monday, June 4, 2018

Opinions on Education

The following are editorials, commentaries, and opinions from various sources regarding public education, collected in April and May 2018. 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, Quincy Herald-Whig, April 17

Editorial Board, The Ottawa Times, April 22

Editorial Board, The Belleville News-Democrat, April 22

Editorial Board, The News-Gazette, Champaign, April 23

Editorial Board, Peoria Journal-Star, April 24

Friday, June 1, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-71

After approving a Fiscal Year 2019 State budget, the Illinois General Assembly worked through the day Thursday and, by early evening, both the Senate and House of Representatives adjourned for the summer. Neither chamber is expected to return to the Capitol until the Veto Session which has been scheduled for November 13-15 and 27-29. This will allow incumbent lawmakers to campaign unimpeded throughout the summer and fall before the November 6 General Election.

Governor Bruce Rauner has stated that he will sign the budget bills into law upon their arrival on his desk – possibly as early as today. The appropriations bill, HB 109, and the Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), HB 3342, each passed by overwhelming bi-partisan votes.