Thursday, March 22, 2018

ISBE briefs

Evidence-Based Funding update
The Evidence-Based Funding Formula verification process is now officially complete, state officials say, with baseline-year enrollment numbers collected for purposes of funding distribution. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is using the data to calculate an adequacy target for each district and determine the amount of tier funding to be dispersed. ISBE reports it is on track to send vouchers to the state comptroller in early April for distribution of the new school money.

School boards should be aware that the Evidence-Based Funding model formula for calculating district adequacy targets assigns a value of 0.5 for students who attend half day kindergarten, and 1.0 for full-day kindergarteners. Districts have until April 1 to notify ISBE if they plan to switch from half-day to full-day kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year. Those voting to make the change will see their kindergarten attendance figures converted to the full-day value for Evidence-Based Funding. Boards that switch to full-day kindergarten must provide ISBE with a copy of the resolution adopted for that purpose and the minutes from the meeting in which decision was approved.

Electronic Grants Management System enhancements
Improvements have been made to aid users of ISBE’s electronic Grants Management System (eGMS). A time-stamp will be added to the applicant’s history page, for example, to allow enhanced tracking and troubleshooting should problems arise in submitting or locating an application. Several new “save” buttons under Title I Targeting are intended to help those districts with multiple attendance centers. Meanwhile, locking and unlocking options on eGMS have been color coded to more readily show when the correct pages are unlocked during data entry. Also, amounts in Facilities Acquisition and Construction Services (Function 2530) have been removed from the indirect cost rate calculations, according to state officials.

Starting next fiscal year, districts also will be able to upload comma-delimited files on an application in the Budget Detail Page. Instructions about this time-saving feature are posted on the ISBE website