Thursday, January 31, 2019

ISBE recommends full funding for all schools and universal pre-K education

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) finalized its education budget recommendation on January 16, calling for full funding for all schools for fiscal year 2020. Officials said the state agency’s total budget recommendation of $19.3 billion represents a focus on equity and reflects 425 requests from communities around the state, gathered over a month of public hearings, as well as evidence showing what children need for long-term social and economic success.

The FY 2020 budget proposal includes $15.616 billion in General Fund appropriations, or $7.232 billion more than FY 2019 appropriations. It also includes $3.619 billion in federal funding, and nearly $80 million in various other state funds.

ISBE said all but two counties in Illinois have at least one school district funded at a level below 90 percent of adequacy. Agency staff said the recommended budget would ensure every student receives the access and opportunity for education they deserve, and every community benefits from thriving public schools.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said school funding choices “must reflect a vision for the state as a place where all people can achieve social and economic security.” He said the total budget recommendation proposes full funding of the Evidence-Based Funding requirements adopted in August 2017 in Public Act 100-0465. It would require $11.765 billion to close the state funding gap in FY 2020.

Smith added that meeting the state's commitment to full funding by June 2027 requires an annual increase of approximately $660 million for the next eight fiscal years based on FY 2019 Evidence-Based Funding calculations.

The budget endorsed by ISBE also provides funding for Universal Access to High-Quality Preschool, allocating $2.4 billion for the Early Childhood Block Grant.

ISBE said 315,409 children ages 3 to 5 statewide are not served by an early childhood education program funded by the state in FY 2019, a concern because research shows early childhood education significantly impacts students' social and economic outcomes. Thus the agency recommendation provides for all students to have access to prekindergarten programs, and the budget also funds the Prevention Initiative Program to serve children from birth to age 3.

ISBE will submit its complete budget book to Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly in February.

The budget recommendation and a comparison to FY 2019 appropriations are online here.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Interviews and ideas from Joint Annual Conference released by national podcast

IASB Executive Director Thomas E. Bertrand Ph.D., left,
discussed the Association's goals and vision in one podcast.
“Issues in Education,” a national podcast, joined the conversation at last November’s Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Illinois ASBO).

The “Issues in Education” team has published many interviews from the Joint Annual Conference, including conversations with Joanne Osmond, IASB president and IASB Executive Director Thomas E. Bertrand Ph.D. Other representatives from IASB, as well as Illinois ASBO, Illinois school districts, higher education, and law firms sat down with “Issues in Education” as well.

“Issues in Education,” founded by Ittner Architects, is a “national thought leadership platform that provides a meaningful voice to the leaders who are bringing innovative ideas that are transforming education, healthcare and business.” It was founded by Dennis Young, president and CEO of Ittner Architects. Originally a radio broadcast, the program is now streamed nationally and video recorded.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Journal indices updated for 2018 issues

The Illinois School Board Journal is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards. The index of Journal articles, covering the last 11 years, has been updated and is available by clicking here From that link, readers can search articles by subject or author.

In 2018, the Journal offered school board members dozens of articles relevant to their work. The top topic of the year was Equity, featured in the March/April 2018 issue and subsequent articles. The Journal also featured the “Makerspace Movement” and helped the Association bid farewell to key members of its leadership team, and introduce new IASB Executive Director Thomas E. Bertrand, Ph.D.

The Journal's mission is to serve school board members with information and insights that will help them be effective. The focus is on school board performance and anything that affects it. Each issue is mailed to some 6,000 members of local boards of education. Each edition also goes to about 2,500 school administrators, state and federal government offices, college and university officials, organization leaders, and interested citizens.

Click here to use the Journal subject and author index resources.

Click here to read full digital editions of the Journal, dating back to 2012.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Collective bargaining workshops offered regionally in February

IASB will host three collective bargaining workshops across the state on Saturday, February 23. "Trends in Collective Bargaining" is designed specifically for school board members to learn and discuss key collective bargaining issues with legal experts. Online registration is available for each event at a cost of $50 per attendee.

Attendees will discuss and learn about key collective bargaining issues such as:
  • compensation
  • benefits
  • working conditions
  • the Janus decision
  • regional topics
  • ...and much more
Registration fees: $50 per attendee. Advanced registration is required for this event. Registration closes on February 19. Register online at, click on Events Calendar. Board members are encouraged to contact their superintendent’s office for registration assistance.

Presenters include:

Shelli L. Anderson and Melissa D. Sobota
Franczek P.C.

David J. Braun and Brandon Wright
Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd.

Mt. Vernon
D. Shane Jones and Chad Watkins
Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan & Jackstadt, P.C.
 For more information, contact Peggy Goone at or 217/528-9688, ext. 1103.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dates set for Division Meetings

The calendar is set for IASB’s next round of Division Meetings in 2019, with two events slated for the final day of February, and 19 events across the state in March.

The Spring 2019 meetings will feature Candidate Briefings, which will provide school board candidates with an overview of the roles and responsibilities of an elected school board member and an idea of what to expect if they are successful in the April elections. Each Division Meeting also offers networking opportunities and updates from Association staff and division representatives and keynote or breakout sessions on a variety of locally-selected 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” button at

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




February 28

Central Illinois Valley

Peoria SD 150

February 28




March 5

Abe Lincoln

Blue Ridge CUSD 18


March 5


Rome CCSD 2, Dix


March 5

Three Rivers

Lockport THSD 205,
East Campus, Lockport


March 5


Lewistown CUSD 97


March 6


Naperville CUSD 203,
Naperville Central HS


March 6


Genoa-Kingston CUSD 424


March 7


Silvis SD 34


March 7

Two Rivers

North Greene USD 3


March 7

Wabash Valley

Casey-Westfield CUSD 4C


March 7

West Cook

Schiller Park SD 81,
Lincoln Middle School, Schiller Park


March 12

Starved Rock


LaSalle-Peru THSD 120
(dessert only)


March 13



Wauconda CUSD 118,

Wauconda High School


March 13


Sterling CUSD 5


March 14

Corn Belt

Dwight THSD 230


March 20

North Cook

Niles THSD 219

Niles West High School


March 20


Crab Orchard CUSD 3


March 26


Carlinville CUSD 1


March 27

South Cook

Camelot Banquets,

Hickory Hills


March 27


Grant CCSD 110