Thursday, May 31, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-70

The Illinois General Assembly is poised to adjourn for the summer today upon approval of a Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget. The Senate passed the budget package Wednesday night; the House of Representatives approved the bills today (Thursday). In a scenario that has not been witnessed for years in the State Capitol, a full-year budget was approved on overwhelmingly bi-partisan votes. The Governor and the legislative leaders set partisan differences aside this spring and agreed on revenue estimates and a spending plan for the state.

Both the House and Senate are still currently working through some remaining bills but are expected to adjourn later today.

After receiving revenue estimates from the Governor's Office of Management and Budget and the Legislative Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability that were never too far apart, the Governor and leaders agreed on a revenue prediction of $38.5 billion. For elementary and secondary education, the appropriations bill (HB 109) increases the amount for the funding formula by $350 million. Of this, $50 million is earmarked for the Property Tax Relief Fund that was created in SB 1947, the bill enacted last year that established the evidence-based funding formula. Mandated categorical grants would be funded at the current levels and early childhood education would see an increase of $50 million. HB 109 was approved by the Senate on a vote of 56-2; the House passed the bill on a 97-18 vote.

The Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), HB 3342, includes substantive components necessary to put the budget into place. It was approved by the Senate 54-2-2 and by the House 100-14.

Click here to read the full Alliance Legislative Report 100-70, including details about the BIMP, the bill approved to mandate statewide teacher salary increases, a bill addressing the teacher shortage, and other public education-related bills approved this week. 

School Board Governance Recognition
applications due in August

Click here to view a video tutorial
on the School Board Governance Recognition program.
IASB's School Board Governance Recognition program acknowledges school boards that learn and practice effective governance behaviors as identified by IASB's Foundation Principles of Effective Governance.

The focus of Governance Recognition is on full board development and participation, rather than the efforts of individual board members. Boards that meet the requirements and criteria listed in the application will be recognized for the two-year distinction. Additional information and details about the program can be found in an online tutorial video.

Submission deadline is August 1, 2018. 

The Board Governance Recognition Award Committee will review all applications shortly after submission and notify award recipients. Boards that meet the requirements will be honored at Fall Division Meetings and acknowledged at the Joint Annual Conference in November. Boards may apply for the recognition every two years.

Contact Peggy Goone at or 217/528-9688, ext. 1103, with additional questions.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Exclusive ‘LeaderShop Academy Symposium’ to feature consultant Phil Boyle

IASB will host its eighth biennial LeaderShop Academy Symposium on June 9 in Naperville. Titled “Visions, Values, Conflicts and Decisions,”  the event is an exclusive, members-only workshop for school board LeaderShop Academy members and their superintendents.

The presenter is Phil Boyle, Ph.D. and the interactive workshop is based on his best-selling book, Preserving the Public in Public Schools. Through large and small group activities, Symposium participants will address the critical role of school board members in a democratic society; the core values underlying public problems, conflicts, and choices in public schools; and the reasons why we use governing boards rather than individuals to make public decisions.

Boyle is 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 is designed to provide professional development for board members who have earned Academy Membership and are seeking advanced leadership skills.

The LeaderShop Academy Symposium will take place June 9, 2018 on the campus of NIU-Naperville. The cost is $200 per person, which includes workshop materials, continental breakfast, and lunch. Registration is underway, and seating is limited. For more information, contact Peggy Goone, at or 217/528-9688 ext. 1103.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Alliance Call to Action


The bill we asked you to act on last week, SB 2892 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) is scheduled to be heard in the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, May 29 th at 9:30 a.m. The bill would require mandatory salary increases for teachers statewide. Under the Minimum Salary section of the School Code, schools would be required to pay teachers an annual salary increase, up to $40,000 over 5 school years if they are receiving a salary less than $40,000 per year.

Please review details HERE from the May 22 “Alliance Call to Action.”

It is imperative that you contact your State Representative and the members of the Committee and ask for a NO VOTE on SB 2892!
  1. Click HERE to call or send a message to each of the members of the House Education Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee explaining what this legislation will cost your district in dollars and program/staff cuts.
  2. Click HERE to send a note to your legislator. Please edit the message to include the financial impact of this legislation on your school district. “This measure will cost our district $___ dollars to comply, which could mean laying off staff, cutting programs, etc.” Information regarding how much this mandate will cost your district and cuts you’d have to consider to comply, are most compelling.
  3. Please SHARE THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THIS LEGISLATION with your legislators, members of the committee, and with us at

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Officer nominations sought

The nominating committee of the Illinois Association of School Boards is seeking candidates for the offices of president and vice president.

The following criteria will be used by the committee in considering nominees:

•    leadership experience and participation in IASB activities
•    leadership on a local school board
•    involvement with other education-related organizations
•    other leadership experiences
•    special talent or interests of benefit to IASB as now constituted

Nominating forms are due to be submitted by early August, and candidates will be interviewed that same month. A slate of candidates will be presented to the Delegate Assembly meeting in Chicago at the 2018 Joint Annual Conference in November.

To request necessary forms, interested candidates should email: or phone 217/528-9688, ext. 1143.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-69

In a busy legislative week in the State Capitol, lawmakers rushed to move the remainder of their legislation as the scheduled session adjournment date nears. The legislature is set to conclude its business by the end of the month. Both chambers of the General Assembly cancelled scheduled session for this weekend and will return to Springfield late afternoon on Monday, May 28. While there has been positive news surrounding the development of a budget, the General Assembly will only have four session days to complete its business and pass a budget plan and appropriations before the end of May.

This week, the Alliance and its partners in the Evidence-Based Funding reforms testified before the House Elementary and Secondary Appropriation Committee. Alliance executives were also joined by local superintendents to testify about what improvements to education they can make with greater support from the State of Illinois. The minimum needed to fund the evidence based funding model for Fiscal Year 2019 is $400 million with $350 million going to the funding model and $50 for a property tax rebate system that is part of the negotiated law. During the hearing, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) also testified to the need for an additional $7 billion to bring all Illinois school districts to adequacy.

With the clock ticking persistently towards the end of session on May 31, a number of bills were approved by the General Assembly to be sent on to the Governor for his approval.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-69, including information on two significant bills containing potential new mandates, Vision 20/20 initiatives, and other legislative action from the week. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wide assortment of panel
discussions on tap in ‘Carousel’

Many of the scores of school districts that submitted Joint Annual Conference panel proposals will be presenting their chosen topics during IASB’s 2018 Carousel of Panels. The event, to be held on Nov. 17, 2018, will feature approximately 30 participants in three successive half-hour presentations. This format gives attendees a chance to gather information on a wide range of subjects in a short amount of time.

Some of the general topics, although not the final titles, to be included in the Carousel this year, along with the panel presenters, are:

  • Authentic, Relevant Engagement of the Greater Community – STEM Outreach, P-20 Engagement, Northern Illinois University
  • Boosting Student Growth and Engagement with GRR! – Woodridge SD 68
  • Concussions and Head Injuries: Planning and Responding  – Whitt Law LLC
  • Discussing Illinois’ New Principal Preparation Program – Aurora University
  • Include Stakeholders in Talented and Gifted Placement Appeals – Oak Grove SD 68, Green Oaks
  • Increasing Principals’ Times and Capacity for School Improvement – ROE 17 and ROE 28
  • Increasing the Engagement of Culturally Diverse Families – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123
  • Is Your School District Website ADA Compliant? – Fremont SD 79, Mundelein
  • Legal Layoffs: Following the Law While Improving Education – Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd.
  • Redefining Success with a Personalized Learner Profile – The ECRA Group
  • Strategic Planning: Strong Schools Build Strong Communities – Paris Union SD 95
  • University and Schools Connect for Student Success – STEM Outreach, P-20 Engagement, Northern Illinois University
  • Trauma-Informed Practices, Social Capital – ROE 39 and ROE 11
  • Why Rural Matters – Virginia CUSD 64
  • 21st Century Climate Resiliency Solutions for K-12 Schools – Champaign CUSD 4
  • #MeToo – Preventing and Mitigating Workplace Harassment – Hauser, Izzo, Petrarca, Gleason & Stillman, LLC

A full description of these and all other Conference panels and programming will be available in the Conference Preview, to be posted online in September.

Online conference registration and housing is expected to open in early June. This year’s event will be IASB’s 86th Joint Annual Conference with the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO).

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Alliance Call to Action


A bill is moving through the Illinois legislature that would require mandatory salary increases for teachers statewide. SB 2892 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) provides that under the Minimum Salary section of the School Code schools would be required to pay teachers an annual salary increase, up to $40,000 over 5 school years if they are receiving a salary less than $40,000 per year. The schedule looks like this:
  • A minimum of $32,076 for 2019-2020
    • $34,576 for 2020-2021
    • $37,076 for 2021-2022
    • $40,000 for 2022-2023
  • The bill further adds that for each school year thereafter, an automatic salary increase would be required including the minimum salary rate for the previous school year increased by the Consumer Price Index.

Illinois has a collective bargaining law that empowers local school boards, together with their teachers and support staff, to set salaries in consideration of the revenues available to run their schools. School leaders and staff must take into consideration all aspects of its budget and make very difficult decisions to provide an effective education program that meets the needs of all students.

A top-down approach to MANDATE a minimum salary for one group of employees within the school setting, without fully funding the increases, will cause layoffs, dismissals, and program cuts across the board in Illinois schools. Additionally, programs required to meet state and federal education standards will suffer as there will not be enough qualified staff or programming to meet student needs.

School leaders SUPPORT their teachers! This proposal will not help teachers and support staff, it will wreak havoc after Illinois just passed school funding reform that has put Illinois “Back-on-Track” to funding our schools.

It is imperative that you contact your state representative and ask for a NO VOTE on SB 2892!

1. Click here to send a note to your legislator. Please edit the message to include the financial impact of this legislation on your school district. “This measure will cost our district $___ dollars to comply, which could mean laying off staff, cutting programs, etc.” Information regarding how much this mandate will cost your district and cuts that would have to be considered to comply are most compelling.

2. Please SHARE THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THIS LEGISLATION with your legislators and with us at

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vision 20/20 to refocus in summer of 2018

With new money flowing to schools across the state via the Evidence-Based Funding formula, Illinois Vision 20/20 will begin a process to refocus efforts on other public education priorities while continuing to advocate for the necessary dollars to meet adequacy targets for every school district.

“We’ve certainly made a lot of progress over the last few years in achieving the goals envisioned when Vision 20/20 was launched,” said IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy. “The Evidenced-Based Funding formula is obviously at the forefront of those accomplishments, but we’ve also worked to address teacher reciprocity and varied accountability in the Balanced Accountability pillar.”

Launched in the summer of 2013 with the goal of providing a more equitable and adequate education for children in every region of the state, the initiative has been a success in achieving many of its goals. The four pillars, Equitable and Adequate Funding, Highly Effective Educators, 21st Century Learning, and Shared Accountability, will remain but be repurposed with updated legislative proposals.

Eddy said Vision 20/20 architects and contributors from throughout the state will identify additional proposals to alleviate the ongoing teacher shortage, expand access to high-speed internet for districts, and suggest ways to improve school safety.

“It’s also important that we continue to monitor the initiatives that have been signed into law. For example, the new funding model is intended to get districts to 90 percent of their adequacy target in 10 years. To meet that goal, Illinois schools will need approximately $350 million in new education dollars each year added to the state budget while we also protect local revenue sources. It will be important for Vision 20/20 supporters to continue to advocate for that funding and show how the new formula is contributing to student success,” he added.

In addition to a refocused effort, Illinois Vision 20/20 has a new director. Ralph Grimm, a former superintendent of four western Illinois school districts, has indicated the initiative will have both short- and long-term goals. 

In a newsletter highlighting achievements of the campaign, Grimm announced plans to conduct a revisioning meeting in early August: “The purpose of the meeting will be threefold. First, the success of Vision 20/20 will be highlighted and celebrated. Second, participants will review the four pillars and the original concepts that were adopted for further action. Additional issues within each of the pillars will be identified for possible legislative action. Third, participants will identify those issues that should be moved forward for additional consideration.”

More information and updates on the initiative will be posted on the Illinois Vision 20/20 website and announced on Twitter @ILVision2020

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-68

Many pieces of legislation that infringe on local decision making and increase costs for school districts are still moving through the Illinois General Assembly as we move closer to the scheduled adjournment day of May 31st. We encourage you to take special notice of the mandates covered in this report, as well as our previous Alliance Legislative Reports, and reach out to your state legislators to oppose legislation that negatively impacts school finances and local curricular determination.

When both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly meet next, there will only be 10 days remaining to get a Fiscal Year 2019 budget in place before the legislative deadline. While there may not be agreement among all parties on a budget, there are more discussions and negotiations taking place, albeit behind closed doors, than in years past. The four legislative leaders met with the Governor on a few occasions this week to plot the course for the next fiscal year as well as discuss a potential supplemental appropriation for this fiscal year. 

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-68, including floor and committee action and information on an IEPA settlement with Volkswagen that could result in transportation upgrade funds.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Court ruling upholds school district protections from liability

In a major case upholding school district protection from liability, the Illinois First District Appellate Court recently ruled that Chicago District 299 is immune under Section 2-201 of the state’s so-called Tort Immunity Act from a lawsuit.

The lawsuit involved a high school student allegedly attacked by another student off campus. Student Elizabeth Castillo and her family had charged the district with failing to discipline the alleged attacker in compliance with the School Code’s bullying prevention statute, and failing to prevent an attack through “supervisory” actions.

According to the decision filed on April 24, however, Section 2-201 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10-2-201) shields school districts from such a lawsuit. The law applies to public employees, including school employees, performing discretionary functions.

The court noted that Castillo’s “failure to discipline” claim involving Section 2-201 of the Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10-2-201) “only mandates that every school district create a policy on bullying; it does not mandate that a school respond to a particular instance of bullying in a particular way.” But because implementation of the district’s anti-bullying policy required both discretion and decision making by school officials, the Court found that the district was immune under Section 2-201 of the Tort Immunity Act.

Castillo’s “failure to prevent" claim involved Section 4-201 of the Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/4-201), which provides that neither a public entity nor its employees are liable for failure to provide police protection service. Illinois courts have repeatedly held that school officials are immune from suit when a student is harmed off-campus, even if school officials knew that violence was likely. Castillo attempted to distinguish her case by arguing she did not allege the district should have acted in the role of police to prevent Martinez’s the off campus attack, but that it should have protected her through “supervisory” actions. The Court did not buy this argument, stating there is no case distinguishing Castillo’s suggested actions as “supervisory” instead of “police,” and that the “supervisory” actions Castillo suggested could “inevitably slide into the area of school discipline,” which is covered by Section 2-201 immunity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Governor unveils gun safety proposals

Through the use of a sweeping amendatory veto of existing gun legislation, Governor Bruce Rauner has introduced a list of new measures regarding gun safety – with specific provisions for school safety.

HB 1468, approved by the House of Representatives in February and by the Senate in March, sat on the governor’s desk until the last possible day for gubernatorial action. As passed by the legislature, the bill simply extended the 72 hour waiting period currently required before the purchase of hand guns to the purchase of assault rifles.

On May 14, the governor issued his amendatory veto with his comprehensive “specific recommendations for change.” One provision would allow for receipts that schools receive from the County School Facilities Sales Tax to be used for the costs of school resource officers (SRO) and mental health professionals. Currently, funds from the county-wide sales tax can only be used for school facility purposes.

The bill will now head back to the legislature where both chambers will have to accept the governor’s changes before it could become law.

For counties that have already adopted the county-wide sales tax for school facilities, they would have to go back to the voters to ask for authorization to also use the funds for SROs and mental health professionals. In the future, counties that have the sales tax question on the ballot would specify whether the receipts could be used for school facilities, SROs and mental health professionals, or both. Also, for those counties that impose the sales tax in the future, the county could place on the ballot a referendum on whether or not the tax should be reduced in rate or discontinued.

Other provisions proposed by the governor include

  • Requiring a 72 hour waiting period before the purchase of any firearm;
  • Allowing for family members and law enforcement to identify individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others to petition a court to disarm those individuals;
  • Strengthening laws regarding charging individuals with the most serious offense in cases involving the illegal use or possession of a firearm; and
  • Imposing the death penalty in cases of deliberately killing a law enforcement officer or committing mass murder.

Updates on how the legislature proceeds with HB 1468 will be provided in the Alliance Legislative Reports.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

News from ISBE

A panel discussion is the format of the new video now online.
Site-based expenditure reporting – new video to assist district leaders
The state is sharing a new video on site-based expenditure reporting, produced in cooperation with the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, and the Illinois Principals Association. It details some immediate recommended actions, and features accounting tips and tricks that may be useful in the new expenditure reporting process that begins next year.

ISBE previously shared suggestions for a number of actions district leaders can take to greatly lighten their load when site-based expenditure reporting begins next year. Those tips are included in a Suggested District Implementation Timeline in fiscal year 2019.  

Evidence-Based Funding enrollment verification window closes May 15
ISBE is administering a one-time, supplemental enrollment verification process for school year 2018 fall and spring enrollment counts. Please note the deadline is extended to May 15, 2018, at 4 p.m. The new funding formula funds all districts in relation to each other, so it is important to ensure accurate enrollment counts statewide.

ISBE begins processing the enrollment file on May 16, 2018. The state will use this enrollment data to determine EBF tier funding for FY 2019.

For answers to specific questions, or to solve technical difficulties, please reference the Verification Tool User Guide and Enrollment Verification FAQs, both available on the EBF Enrollment webpage. Feel free to direct questions to or call the ISBE Data Strategies and Analytics team at 217/782-3950 or the ISBE SIS team at 217/558-3600, option 3.

Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education vacancies
Have an interest in helping improve bilingual education to better serve English-language learners? Then you may be interested in being considered for appointment to the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education (IACBE). To be considered, submit a letter of interest and resume to Samuel Aguirre at by June 15.

By law, under 105 ILCS 5/14C-13, the  State Superintendent of Education appoints members to the IACBE, which currently has two vacancies. Meanwhile the terms of five additional members will be expiring on June 30, 2018. For inquiries, please contact ISBE’s Samuel Aguirre at or call 312/814-3058.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-67


Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly were back in Springfield this week to take up legislation in hopes of sending bills to the Governor that would become law. While there was action on bills in committees and on the House and Senate floors, no public action was taken on a budget. With less than three weeks to go before scheduled adjournment, budget talks are still going on behind closed doors. With more available revenue than in years past, it would seem a budget agreement would be easier to reach this year. However, nothing tends to be easy in the current adversarial environment of Illinois state government. School board members and administrators are encouraged to advocate with lawmakers for making education the priority in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and provide additional new funding as required in the evidence based funding model.

Contact your State Representative and urge a NO VOTE on Senate Bill 486 and Senate Bill 2572
SB 486 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) is pending before the Illinois House and needs input from school leaders. The bill would limit resources for school districts and other local taxing bodies as it makes changes to how assessment and taxation of solar energy systems are calculated. 
By modeling SB 486 after Division 18 of the Property Tax Code (PA 95-644, Wind Farms), commercial solar farm developers would see a reduction in the real property cost basis, from between $500,000 and $2 million, to $439,200 per megawatt of capacity. Unfortunately, SB 486 attempts to go significantly further in limiting resources for school districts and other taxing bodies by setting a real property cost basis of only $199,000 per megawatt of capacity.
In its current form, SB 486 offers developers and owners of commercial solar energy systems preferential assessment and property tax treatment, in addition to the generous renewable energy credits they already receive, to the detriment of local taxing bodies and their constituents. SB 486 should be amended to reflect Division 18 of the Property Tax Code (PA 95-644), which provides a proven, uniform method for assessing other renewable energy in Illinois.
Please take a few minutes to contact your State Representative and ask them to vote NO so that negotiations can continue on this important, timely legislation. 
SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora) would undo the Physical Education flexibility that school districts were granted earlier this school year under the evidence based funding reform measures. Current law requires school districts to teach P.E. three days a week. The proposed legislation would remove the three days a week requirement and would institute a 150 minute a week minimum. The 150 minutes requirement is not flexible and does not account for weeks with fewer than five days of attendance. School districts would have to change schedules often to accommodate P.E. It would also force school districts to prioritize P.E. over other courses.  Once again, please take a few minutes to share with your State Representative the possible impact on your local school district if this bill would become law and ask them to vote NO.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-67, including committee action from last week and committee schedules for next week. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

School board members appointed to state panel charged with reviewing funding formula

The Evidence-Based Funding Model has four key components.
Two appointees who represent school boards will be joining 22 other education leaders on the state Professional Review Panel. Dr. Nakia Hall, school board member of Crete-Monee School District 201-U, and Rhys Fullerlove, board president of Sherrard Community Unit School District 200, were named to the oversight panel by State Superintendent Tony Smith.

The Professional Review Panel was a part of Senate Bill 1947 (PA 100-465), the legislation that created the Evidence-Based Funding Model. Members of the group will be charged with reviewing the implementation and effectiveness of the new funding formula, and making any necessary recommendations to recalibrate the distribution system. They will also advise on future study topics and modifications to the Evidence-Based Model.

The Review Panel’s first meeting will take place on June 26 in Springfield at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) office. A full list of panel members is available on ISBE’s website.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fifteenth Edition of Illinois School Law book
answers legal questions of educators and laymen

A new edition of the popular Illinois School Law Survey has been published by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB).

Authored by noted school attorney Brian Braun, it serves as a convenient reference tool for common school law issues, and is available in both print and digital versions. Its question-and-answer format allows readers to find answers to questions facing or posed by school superintendents, principals, school boards, and the general public.

The book has been updated bi-annually since 1990 to stay current with changes in state and federal laws, and reflect the impact of new court cases relevant to school law. In the Fifteenth Edition, answers are based on legislation and court decisions as of January 1, 2018, and administrative rules and regulations current as of December 15, 2017.

Key features that enable readers to quickly find what they need include a Table of Contents listing broad topics covered in each chapter, a Quick Reference Index with subjects of more narrow focus, and a Table of Court Cases compiling all court decisions cited in the book.

Click here to preview the index.

A unique code to register for online access to a digital version of the book is included with each printed book purchase. This online format includes entire text of the book’s 27 chapters, along with links to easily navigate from the Table of Cases or Index to relevant questions. The digital version also contains links to statutes, regulations, court decisions, and more.

The Illinois School Law Survey can be purchased from the IASB Online Bookstore at for $60 (IASB members pay $48) plus $7 per order for shipping. For more ordering information, contact IASB publications by dialing ext. 1108 at either 217/528-9688 or 630/629-3776.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Safety panel's best practice recommendations 'really good'

Recently released “best practice” recommendations of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force School Safety Working Group “are really good, and cover most of what school districts need to do to make schools safe,” according to IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm, a working group member.

Schwarm said districts should take a look at the 12 recommendations released by the select working group on April 5, 2018, which detail how school districts can best protect students and staff from violence, particularly the threat of an active shooter.

The recommendations, which contain no mandates, focus on three main categories: behavioral threat assessment, hardening of facilities, and response protocol in schools.

“Many of these recommendations would take little to no cost to implement and, as noted in the working group report, can have a strong impact on overall school safety and security,” Schwarm said.

More information on the broader topic of school safety is listed on the IASB website.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Professional learning for school leaders focuses on equity work in education

School board members and superintendents from around the state gathered for a day of learning centered on the what, why, and how of equity issues in education.

The Equity Event, presented by the Illinois Association of School Boards, was offered exclusively to school board members and superintendents from IASB member districts at no charge. More than 200 participants from 80 districts registered for the April 28 event.

“Professional development and continuous learning are paramount to the mission of IASB,” said Roger Eddy, executive director for the Illinois Association of School Boards. “This event provided board members with a better understanding of what equity looks like in their district and the board’s responsibility to ensure equitable outcomes for children in the communities they serve.”

Heather Hackman, an expert in social justice issues, provided participants with a conceptual framework for equity and challenged them to view their work through an equity lens.

Several districts are doing this work, leading the way in establishing an equity lens.

“Everyday Equity” panelists included representatives from
Superintendent Theresa Rouse and Board President Jeffrey Pritz
(Joliet PSD 86), Superintendent Ed Condon and Board President
Ralph Martire (River Forest SD 90), and Superintendent Carmen
Ayala and Board President Adam Mounce (Berwyn North SD 98).
In one panel presentation, three Illinois districts talked about their equity journeys, including deliberate steps at the board level and policy implications. Panelists included Superintendent Theresa Rouse and Board President Jeffrey Pritz from Joliet PSD 86, Superintendent Ed Condon and Board President Ralph Martire fro m River Forest SD 90, and Superintendent Carmen Ayala and Board President Adam Mounce from Berwyn North SD 98.

In another panel, board presidents shared stories of leadership in equity issues and the impact equity work has had on their school systems. Consultant Corrie Wallace presented with two board presidents, Suni Kartha from Evanston/Skokie SD 65 and Pat Savage-Williams from Evanston THSD 202.
Afternoon panel featured board presidents Suni Kartha (Evanston/Skokie SD
65) and Pat Savage-Williams (Evanston THSD 202) with consultant Corrie Wallace.
Steve Pemberton, author of A Chance in the World, closed the day with his personal journey of perseverance and resilience, inspiring participants to be remembered for standing in the gap.
Board members from Lindop SD 92 posed with author Steve Pemberton. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-66


The Illinois Senate was in session this week, busy both moving bills out of committees and passing bills on the chamber floor. The House of Representatives was off this week following its House bill deadline last Friday. Both chambers are scheduled to return next week and work Tuesday through Friday. Next Friday is the Senate deadline to consider House bills in Senate committees.


The Senate this week approved three bills that would place new requirements on local school districts. Each of these bills has been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

SB 3249 (Steans, D-Chicago) would add to the current list of items to be included in the public school History of the United States curriculum the “roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this state.” Further, the bill would require that all textbooks approved must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under that Act. The bill was approved by the full Senate on a vote of 34-18.

SB 2428 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) requires every school to provide a federally reimbursable meal or snack to a student who makes the request, regardless of whether the student has the ability to pay or owes money for meals or snacks. If a student owes money for meals or snacks that is in excess of the equivalent of the amount charged a student for five lunches, a school may contact the parent or guardian of the student to attempt collection of the amount owed. Further, schools may not publicly identify or stigmatize a student who cannot pay for a meal or snack or who owes money for a meal or snack such as the use of wrist bands, hand stamps, having the student sit in a separate location, or posting the name of the student. The bill was approved by the full Senate on a vote of 41-9-1.

SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora) eliminates the changes in the requirements for Physical Education made under SB 1947 last year (moving the requirement from five days per week to three days per week), and sets a rigid time standard for PE of 150 minutes a week. The bill was approved by the full Senate on a vote of 36-14-1.

Click here to read the complete Alliance Legislative Report 100-66, including a number of bills acted on this week by the Senate and legislation to be considered next week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May/June Journal offers call and response

 IASB Journal
The May/June issue of The Illinois School Board Journal considers the calls of 2018 — safety and security, community engagement, salaries, and technology — that are making headlines in the education world, and the responses a school district might have to each of these calls.

The issue includes the annual administrative salary update, which reports how superintendents and principals compare regionally, nationally, by gender, and by type of school district. IASB’s community engagement work continues with an updating of the original documents to reflect best practices and lessons learned since the program’s inception. The Journal also follows national gun violence headlines with “The school board’s role in responding to and preventing gun violence in schools,” by IASB Assistant General Counsel Maryam T. Brotine and “Prepare for the worst, plan for the best,” by Rick J. Kaufman, a nationally recognized expert in crisis communications.

Look for the May/June Journal in your mailbox, or click below to read the digital version.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Division governing meetings scheduled from late April to June

A full list of summer governing meetings
is now available on the IASB events calendar.
A number of IASB divisions will be hosting summer governing meetings over the coming months. While these division-level meetings serve the purpose of enabling collaboration among board members within the region, they also allow Association members the opportunity to offer input on future programing for division events.

The governing meetings are normally held once or twice a year, in summer and/or winter months. The field services director will facilitate a discussion with division members to identify topics of interest and importance. The suggested topics will be prioritized and used to schedule speakers and other programing for fall and spring division dinner meetings.

Governing meeting agendas also focus on maintaining association governance and include resolutions and field services reports, as well as roundtable discussion.

All school board members and superintendents from the division are welcome to attend and participate in the meetings. A full list of summer governing meetings is available on the IASB events calendar, along with registration information.