Friday, August 17, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-74

Governor Bruce Rauner has been taking action on various pieces of legislation that have reached his desk since the legislative session concluded. After a bill is approved by the legislature, the General Assembly has 30 days to send the bill to the Governor. The Governor then has 60 days to either sign or veto a bill.

While Governor Bruce Rauner has acted on many pieces of legislation, he has yet to take action on several issues including the minimum teacher salary bill (SB 2892, Manar D-Bunker Hill). To see more on SB 2892, click here.

Click here for the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-74, including the list of education bills that have been signed into law.

Fall Division Meetings on the way

The schedule for IASB’s 2018 Fall Division Meetings is set. The slate opens with the Western Division meeting in Macomb on September 12, and concludes on October 30 with the South Cook event taking place in Alsip. In between, the Association’s 19 other divisions will meet in venues across the state.

Each Division Meeting offers networking opportunities and updates from Association staff, division directors, and division chairpersons. Most meetings also offer keynote or breakout sessions on a variety of important education topics for school leaders. These will be announced at a later date.

Attendance at Division Meetings also earns participants five points in IASB’s Master Board Member Program.

Online registration is required and can be completed through IASB’s “My Account” at

Here is the schedule of dates and locations for the 21 division dinner meetings:

2018 Fall Division Meetings
September 12
Spoon River Outreach Center,
September 25
St. Joseph Middle School,
St. Joseph CCSD 169
October 2
Hilton Lisle/Naperville
October 2
Collinsville Middle School,
Collinsville CUSD 10
October 2
Three Rivers
Prairie Bluff Golf Club,
October 2
Wabash Valley
Robinson High School,
Robinson CUSD 2
October 4
Abe Lincoln
Rochester CUSD 3A
October 4
Mercer Co. SD 404
October 4
Learning Community Center,
Pinckneyville CHSD 101
October 10
Central Illinois Valley
Pekin CHSD 303
October 10
DoubleTree by Hilton
October 10
Carbondale CHSD 165
October 11
Corn Belt
Prairie Central CUSD 8
October 11
Starved Rock
Northview School, Peru ESD 124
October 23
Nokomis CUSD 22
October 24
North Cook
Café La Cave, Des Plaines
October 25
Randall Oaks Golf Club,
West Dundee
October 25
Two Rivers
Hamilton’s, Jacksonville
October 29
West Cook
Elmcrest, Elmwood Park
October 29
Meridian CUSD 223
October 30
South Cook
DoubleTree, Alsip

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ensure Conference attendance transparency
by using sample policies, news releases

IASB encourages school boards that plan to attend the Joint Annual Conference to be pro-active in documenting their professional development experiences and expenses at Conference.

One way for a board to be pro-active in the area of professional development experiences may be to adopt a policy that addresses professional development for all school board members. More specifically, that means adopting a policy that permits and encourages ongoing leadership training for those who have volunteered to serve their community as unpaid school board members.

IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) has a sample policy (2:120, Board Member Development) on this issue. It provides boards with guidance on issues related to setting parameters for board member training. School boards can use the guidance to set parameters on governance concerns (ensuring board members learn, understand, and practice effective governance principles and other best practices). Boards can use that policy guidance, as well, to set parameters on mandatory training, which means training mandated by state law (a list of such laws is contained in the sidebar at right).

The major purpose and function of the sample PRESS policy on the topic of board member professional development is to provide information and guidance to staff members, students, parents, and community. It paraphrases the mandatory board member training statutes and provides information to the community (see Policy background information below).

The Joint Annual Conference provides both mandatory and governance-related training to school board members and administrators through a Pre-Conference PDLT Workshop and myriad other panel presentations, workshops, General Sessions, and exhibits on school governance and leadership, education funding, student learning and achievement, school law and technology, as well as current education issues and best practices.

Also important at Conference are expenses. PRESS has two sample policies: 2:125, Board Member Compensation; Expenses (for board member expenses), and 5:60, Expenses (employee expenses). State law controls both policies’ content (105 ILCS 5/10-9, 5/10-10, and 5/22-1 (no compensation allowed, conflicts of interest prohibited); 105 ILCS 5/10-22.32 (expense advancements); and the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (ECA) 50 ILCS 150/10 (regulation of travel expenses)). The purpose and function of these sample PRESS policies on expenses are legal compliance (see Policy background information below).

Boards should review their existing policies or consider adopting a policy before attending the Joint Annual Conference, which is scheduled for November 16-18 in Chicago.

Watch for other material, including sample news releases, that are developed by the Association to assist those districts that want to pro-actively share what they will do and/or did at the 2018 Joint Annual Conference. Sample news releases are customizable and will suggest language that allows districts to specify who attended, how much the district spent, and how attendance fits into the district’s budget and professional development goals.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

School board members help refocus
Illinois Vision 20/20

Representatives from the six founding organizations of Illinois Vision 20/20 met August 9 in Springfield to review legislative accomplishments and determine areas of focus going forward.

The public policy platform was formed in 2013 to help guide educators, legislators, and other stakeholders to work together toward the common goal of fulfilling the promise of public education in Illinois. Specific policy proposals were developed around four priorities: highly effective educators, 21st century learning, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding.

The Illinois Association of School Boards was among the founding organizations that also included the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Principal’s Association, Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, and Superintendents Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.

“To be in the room with so many of the original drafters of Vision 20/20 discussing the accomplishments of the initiative was invigorating,” said IASB President Joanne Osmond. “The leaders of the various organizations know what is important to ensure adequate and equitable education for all children in Illinois.”

Representing school boards at the meeting were President Joanne Osmond (Lake Villa CCSD 41), Vice President Tom Neeley (Morton CUSD 709), division directors Linda Eades (Northwestern CUSD 2), Simon Kampwerth (Peru ESD 124), Denis Ryan (CHSD 230), Barbara Somogyi (Elk Grove CCSD 59), and Mary Stith (Geneva CUSD 304), and Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

School board representatives attending were, from left to right, Tom Neeley, Mary Stith,
Barbara Somogyi, Simon Kampwerth, Joanne Osmond, Denis Ryan, Linda Eades,
and IASB Executive Director Tom Bertrand.

While much has been accomplished, the participants identified areas where work still needs to be done. They also shared ideas on how new issues can be defined within each of the four pillars.

Osmond added: “In five years we accomplished what many thought was impossible and brought both political parties to the table in agreement to implement a new more equitable funding model for education. The conversation drifted to what's next in accountability, shared accountability, and a safe school for every child to attend and learn.”

The meeting was facilitated by ECRA Group, Inc., a third-party educational consulting firm. Outcomes from the meeting will provide guidance for developing new policy proposals that continue the momentum of Illinois Vision 20/20. Information and updates on the initiative will be posted on the Illinois Vision 20/20 website.

Monday, August 13, 2018

News from ISBE

Districts sending in 2017-18 attendance data
School districts are required to submit their latest yearly attendance data to ISBE by August 31 under a key provision of the new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) law. Under the law, ISBE is required to calculate and use districts’ best three-month average daily attendance (ADA), and nine-month ADA, for purposes that range from calculating per capita tuition charges to reckoning payments of school maintenance and energy efficiency grants.

The District Average Daily Attendance/Prior General State Aid System in IWAS opened in June for submission of the 2017-18 attendance data. The system mirrors the General State Aid data submission portal used in past years, and it reflects the same district personnel approvals as in the past. Attendance data itself is to be reported the same way as in past years.  For questions on submitting the required attendance data, contact ISBE’s School Business Services at 217/785-8779.

Capital needs survey
The state is reminding school districts to complete and submit the Capital Needs Assessment Survey. The survey will remain open for district responses until September 7. Full participation in the assessment will help ensure an accurate portrayal of the capital needs of all districts throughout the state.

The survey arises because ISBE and the Capital Development Board are required by Public Act 93-0489 to file a comprehensive assessment report of the capital needs of all school districts with the legislature every two years. January 1, 2019, is the due date of the next such report.

District superintendents and regional superintendents were emailed a copy of the latest Capital Needs Assessment Survey on April 16, along with a cover letter.  Districts that did not receive a copy of the email have been asked to let the State Board know.

Additional forms, if needed, are available on ISBE’s finance webpage or the Capital Development Board website. Completed forms may be submitted by mail to: School Business Services, 100 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62777-0001; or by email at:

For more information, contact Christine Kolaz, ISBE School Business Services, at 217/785-8779.

Friday, August 10, 2018

VIDEO: Meet your IASB Executive Director

In a brief video message, IASB Executive Director Tom Bertrand introduces himself to Association members and thanks them for their work to provide quality education opportunities for all students.

“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work with such a talented staff and a dedicated membership who are committed to quality public education for every child,” says Bertrand in the video. “I wish you well with the start of the school year and I’m looking forward to getting out into the field to meet all of you.”

Bertrand goes on to explain his vision for the Association and introduces IASB members to the five Es: Envision, Empower, Engage, Educate, and Evolve.

Watch Executive Director Bertrand’s video introduction below.

If the video is not displaying correctly, click here.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Conference speakers to deliver messages
of inspiration, bravery, and perseverance

Keynote speakers for the 2018 Joint Announce Conference in Chicago have been selected. Attendees will be inspired by messages of hope, bravery, perseverance, and innovation as presenters share their own vision for the future during the three General Sessions taking place November 16-18.

The 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year will headline the First General Session at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16. Dr. David R. Schuler will bring his 18 years of superintendent experience and innovative instructional philosophy to the Conference stage. As 2015-2016 president of the School Superintendents Association (AASA), Schuler spearheaded the national Redefining Ready! initiative, a movement that aims to redefine what it means for students to be college, career, and life ready. Schuler has continued to champion the initiative that utilizes personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways to enable students to discover their futures while still in high school.

Ruby Bridges will be keynoting the Second General Session on Saturday, November 17 at 8:30 a.m. Bridges is an activist who became a symbol of the civil rights movement at the age of six. She was the youngest of a group of African American students to integrate schools in the south. After being required to pass a test to determine which students could enter all-white schools, Bridges was enrolled at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Of the six students selected to integrate the school, she was the only one to enroll. In 1999, she formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

Closing out the Third General Session on Sunday, November 18 at 9:45 a.m. will be Darrell Scott. Scott will deliver the story and vision of his daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting. After fellow students shared the stories of the profound impact Rachel had on their lives, the Scotts started the nonprofit organization Rachel’s Challenge. It has touched the lives of 25 million people by creating programs that promote a positive climate in K-12 schools. Rachel Scott’s vision to start a “chain reaction of kindness and compassion” is the foundation for the organization’s mission: Making schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect, and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest.

Additional information about each of the General Session speakers is available on the Joint Annual Conference webpage

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

School board candidate information available

In anticipation of the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election, updated information is available on the IASB website for all candidates and prospective candidates for school boards in Illinois. See the complete list of resources here

The state elections board website lists
key dates candidates need to observe.
In addition, a Candidate’s Guide from the Illinois State Board of Elections lists several important dates candidates need to observe, including the first day to circulate nominating petitions, which is September 18.

Individuals first considering a run for school board are encouraged to read the Qualifications and Characteristics of a School Board Member, which summarizes the qualifications, position description, reasons for serving, and characteristics of effective school board members. Those past the decision-making stage are encouraged to read “Getting on, and staying on, the ballot,” by attorneys Scott F. Uhler and Gregory T. Smith. This piece, which appeared in the September/October 2016 issue of The Illinois School Board Journal, examines best practices and explores the pitfalls that a candidate can encounter in the nominating stage. 

Several other IASB resources are available, providing a wealth of information for candidates, current board members, and those contemplating school board service.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Seminar prepares school districts
for safety and security challenges

The Illinois Association of School Boards will present its third School Safety and Security Seminar, in conjunction with the 2018 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, on November 16.

IASB’s recent member and superintendent surveys indicated that school safety is the paramount student-oriented issue facing school districts today. At the Symposium, the deep and critical challenges relating to keeping people safe at school will be addressed by local, state, and national leaders in school safety and security, including representatives from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Illinois School and Campus Safety Program, ASIS International School Safety and Security Council, and school security advocates. An advocate from the “I Love you Guys” foundation, who had a child in the Sandy Hook elementary school during that tragic incident, will be presenting.

School board members and administrators are encouraged to invite their local emergency responders, school resource officers, school security directors, facility directors, and others who help prepare and carry out security procedures on their campuses to attend this important seminar.

In addition, eight related safety and security panel sessions are scheduled during the Joint Annual Conference on Friday, November 16, and Saturday, November 17. These will include violence prevention, behavioral threat assessments, monitoring social media to thwart violent attacks, and crisis management, and more.

The Seminar will take place Friday, November 16 from 7:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

School district personnel who plan to attend the School Safety and Security Seminar must also register for the Joint Annual Conference. Non-district personnel who wish to attend the Conference panel sessions must also register for the School Safety and Security Seminar. Click here for more information, including registration details, on the 2019 School Safety and Security Seminar.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Digest of Bills available
to assist district advocacy efforts

Descriptions of bills passed in the spring legislative session that are now on the governor’s desk are summarized in the 2018 edition of Digest of Bills Passed.

Each year, the IASB Governmental Relations Department prepares this Digest of Bills Passed for the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance. The publication contains a list of education-related bills approved by the legislature in its spring session. The legislation is categorized by topic and bill number, and a brief summary of each proposal is included. Two indexes are provided to assist users in finding the legislative information they seek.

The digest also contains a section to help determine where the bill stands in the legislative process, plus a chart indicating what action the governor can take on a bill, and a breakdown of how to determine when a bill will take effect.

Nearly 140 pieces of legislation are covered in the 2018 Digest. Covered are proposals to address school safety, taxes and finances, the teacher shortage, and local control. School leaders also will find bill summaries of the yearly barrage of new mandates.

One notable mandate passed this year reverses a proposal from last year that gave schools additional flexibility. Senate Bill 2572 sets a rigid requirement of 150 minutes of PE for students each week. A change made last year actually moved schools from five days per week of PE to three. SB 2572 will undo that change.

A comprehensive proposal to help alleviate the teacher shortage was sent to the governor in the form of House Bill 5627. That bill includes several provisions that will assist districts with adding teachers to their ranks, including:

  • Allowing a retired teacher to teach in a school district for up to 120 days (currently 100 days). 
  • Establishing a short-term substitute teaching license for applicants who hold an associate’s degree or have completed at least 60 hours of credit from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. 
  • Permitting school boards, in collaboration with the teachers’ union, to jointly develop a short-term substitute teacher training program that provides individuals with license information on curriculum, classroom management techniques, school safety, and district building operations. 
  • Licensure reciprocity for individuals who hold a comparable and valid educator license or certificate from another state.

Provisions designed to bring teachers back to the classroom are contained in House Bill 751. The bill extends the sunset provision for retired teachers wishing to return to the classroom in subject shortage areas until June 30, 2019.

Two goals originally championed by Illinois Vision 20/20 could also be accomplished with the governor’s signature. House Bill 5750 appropriates $16 million for the expansion of broadband internet service for schools that have been approved under the federal Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries. Additionally, House Bill 4284 would require at least three members of the Illinois State Board of Education to be from the educator community, which is defined as a teacher, principal, superintendent, or school business official. Both of these bill topics fall under the 21st Century Learning and Shared Accountability pillars of Vision 20/20.

The new Digest of Bills Passed is intended to provide local school officials with the necessary facts to advocate for or against initiatives the governor will be considering in the coming weeks. It is suggested that board members and school leaders contact the governor’s office regarding any bill that may impact or influence local education decisions.

The Digest is available on the IASB website and was mailed to member districts in early July.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pre-Conference Workshops enhance Conference professional development

Eight engaging topics on school leadership and governance have been selected for 2018 Pre-Conference Workshops. Held in conjunction with the Joint Annual Conference on Friday, November 16, the workshops are offered as either full-day or half-day sessions in the morning and afternoon. Participants can mix-and-match two half-day sessions for the same price as a full-day workshop.

Among the full-day presentations offered are Professional Development Leadership Training (PDLT) and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) Training, The Basics of Governance, Leading Leaders: The Job of the Board President, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The PDLT/PERA course satisfies state mandated training requirements for school board members. Full-day workshops begin at 8 a.m.

The half-day training sessions, with start times of either 8 a.m. or noon, include Collective Bargaining for School Board Members and Administrators, The Deep Equity Lens: A Systemic Leadership Process, Improve Student Achievement Through eXceptional Governance, and School Board/Superintendent Teams: Leading Intentionally.

All Pre-Conference Workshops are a part of the IASB LeaderShop Academy program. A separate fee is required for the training sessions and attendees must be registered for the Joint Annual Conference. Tuition for full-day workshops is $280 and includes breakfast, lunch, and program materials. Fees for half-day workshops are $140, and include breakfast or lunch, depending on the start time.

The Workshops will take place at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Instructions for online registration and a brochure listing workshop descriptions, presenters, and start times are available on the Pre-Conference Workshops webpage.