Monday, May 20, 2019

‘Coming to Order’ offers insights
into better school board meetings

Experienced board members and newcomers alike who want to make the most of their meetings are encouraged to read Coming to Order — A Guide to Successful School Board Meetings.

The second and most recent edition of Coming to Order explains how to plan and conduct meetings that fit the needs of the individual school board; it takes the board meeting beyond compliance with legal requirements to meetings that serve the interests of both school and community. This edition was updated to conform to changes in both law and practice and, in particular, to accommodate new thinking about the most effective practices of the school board.

Some of the special topics addressed in Coming to Order are: avoiding common time wasters, parliamentary procedure, ways of making decisions, myths and truths, electronic communications, orienting new members, filling vacancies, and how to deal with pressure groups.

There is no named author; rather, this book reflects the contributions of many current and former IASB staff members. They are acknowledged by name in the book.

Coming to Order may be ordered from the IASB Online Bookstore or by calling 217/528-9688, ext. 1108. Discounts are available to IASB member districts.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Alliance Legislative Report 101-17

On Wednesday, the Senate Government Accountability and Pensions Committee unanimously approved HB 3053 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) which contains procedures to arbitrarily reduce the number of school districts by 25 percent. The bill is now pending on the Senate floor.

Alliance members made an impressive showing in their opposition to the bill. 625 witness slips were filed in opposition to the bill – most of which were filed by school board members and administrators. Continued advocacy is essential, however. Even if you have already filed a witness slip or called your legislators, another call to your state senator is needed. Talking points regarding the legislation can be found here.

Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to work behind closed doors on other major issues still pending. The Fiscal Year 2020 state budget, legalization of recreational cannabis, legalization of sports gaming, and a statewide capital projects bill are still being discussed.

Click here to read about other legislative action that took place in Senate and House committees this week.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Division Governing Meetings
run from now to June

During the next six weeks most IASB divisions will host a summer governing meeting for board members to elect new division officers and discuss programming needs for future division meetings.

 As mentioned, division officers, who serve two-year terms, may also be chosen. Officers elected include: Chair, Director, Vice Chair, and Resolutions Chair, and others as provided by the division in its division by-laws. The selection process gives each active member school board of IASB one vote, cast by a school board member, on a slate provided by a nominating committee and/or on nominations from the floor

The meetings are also a place to get updates on other Association events and activities.

Each such gathering features a discussion of possible topics, dates, and locations of future division meetings. IASB field services directors facilitate conversation at these meetings to identify and prioritize the topics of most interest. All board members and superintendents from a division hosting such meetings are welcome to take part.

Not all divisions will hold governing meetings. In some divisions, the membership will delegate to an executive committee the responsibility to work with the field services director to identify topics of greatest interest to participating districts.

More information on these upcoming meetings is available on the IASB events calendar. Registration is available online.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Alliance Legislative Report 101-16

With the end of session on the horizon, many important pieces of legislation are being discussed in Springfield. One of the bills that could impact schools and their communities the most, HB 3053 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) is scheduled to be heard Wednesday, May 15. HB 3053 addresses forced school district consolidation. Specifically, the bill requires identification, before May 1, 2020, of no less than 25 percent of school districts in Illinois that will be required to hold a referendum to consolidate in the next general election.

An appointed board will place referendum questions on the ballot to decide school boundaries and local tax levies.

To voice your opposition to this measure, please click here and follow the instructions to file a witness slip in opposition to HB 3053 scheduled to be discussed in the Senate State Government Accountability and Pensions Committee.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report, including contact information for members of the committee, as well as revenue proposals under discussion and other legislative action for the week. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Book offers overview of what school board members need to know

A revision to a book introducing the work of boards of education in Illinois has been published by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

The Effective School Board Member provides an overview of what school board members need to know, including duties and responsibilities, the structure of school governance, financing the schools, relations with administration and staff, board meeting procedures, a code of conduct, and other information.

The 2019 revisions reflect how state aid is distributed with the Evidence-Based funding formula. The book and revisions reflect contributions from current and former IASB staff.

The chapters include: A member of the board of education; School governance in Illinois; The local board of education; Powers, duties, and effective governance; The school board in action; Financing the Schools; and Collective bargaining and the school board.

Several appendices provide additional reading and resources.

The Effective School Board Member may be ordered from the IASB Online Bookstore. The member price is $2. It is distributed free to all newly-elected board members this year as part of the Association’s welcome packet to new board members.