Monday, September 30, 2019

Deadlines for placing referenda
on March 2020 ballot near

Three months remain for school districts to propose funding questions to voters in the next regularly scheduled election in March.
December 30 is the last day for a school board to adopt resolutions to place advisory referenda on the ballot at the March 17, 2020 General Primary Election (105 ILCS 5/9-1.5 and 10 ILCS 5/28-2). The local school board election authority is responsible for receiving citizen-led questions and certifying petitions and board resolutions for referenda.
School districts have until January 9 for the board secretary to certify public policy questions to the election authority (10 ILCS 5/28-5).
IASB tracks election results of school finance referenda for bond issues, school tax rate propositions, and county school facilities sales tax outcomes. The historic data is available online.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Conference housing deadline,
early-bird rates end October 1

The deadline to register for the Joint Annual Conference at the discounted early-bird rate of $499 is Tuesday, October 1. Conference housing blocks will also be closed at that time. Conference registration will remain open at a cost of $525 per person. IASB members and districts can register through their IASB account. Conference registration instructions and a registration checklist are available on the IASB website.

Hotel rooms remain available at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile at Conference block rates. The reduced block rates will expire on October 1 and registrants will need to secure their own housing accommodations for the November 22-24 conference. Hotels located in proximity to the Annual Conference are listed on the Conference webpage.

There are still openings available for individuals interested in attending the School Safety and Security Seminar on Friday, November 22, from 7:45-11:30 a.m. In addition, most Pre-Conference Workshops still have availabilities on Friday. Full-day workshops will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with opportunities for half-day workshops from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. Online registration for both the Security Seminar and Pre-Conference Workshops will close at 4 p.m., November 14.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Resolutions Committee Report now available;
Proposals will be voted on at Delegate Assembly

The 2019 IASB Resolutions Committee Report is being mailed to member districts this week. The report is also posted on the IASB website.

The Resolutions Committee met August 2 to consider and make recommendations on new proposals and amendments to current position statements brought forth by Association member districts. The report summarizes proposed resolutions for 2019, and rationales and the Committee’s recommendations on each. IASB membership will vote on these at the Delegate Assembly, November 23 at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.

IASB Resolutions Committee Report
For 2019, the Committee recommends adoption of 10 proposed resolutions. The Committee also recommends amendments to five current position statements and one reaffirmation of a current position statement.

Four proposed resolutions are related to school safety and security; the Resolutions Committee recommends "Do Adopt" for all four.

One is an update of a proposal that did not pass the membership vote last year, which calls for IASB to support legislation that would provide local school boards the option to decide if they will allow for properly trained staff to be armed in school buildings as part of the district’s overall student safety and protection. A second proposed resolution would address school safety and security by calling for IASB to support legislation that would create and fund a program that would assist school districts in hiring school resource officers. Two other safety-related resolutions, one regarding a school district police force and another on school zone traffic safety, are also recommended for adoption.

A proposal relating to the process of conducting background checks on teachers is also recommended as “Do Adopt” by the Committee.

Adoption is also recommended on a proposal that IASB will support changes to legislation to allow school districts to consider social responsibility goals, including preferences for businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans, in selecting companies to service contracts.

Two proposed resolutions impact school districts that host State Authorized Charter Schools. One would call for IASB to support allowing a school district to be part of the charter renewal process. A second would support defining the expectations of such schools to educate at-risk students. The Resolutions Committee recommends “Do Adopt” to both.

The Committee recommends adoption of two measures regarding the timing of seating and terms of newly elected school board members. A third election-related proposal, on who can swear a new member in, received a “Do Not Adopt” from the Committee. A measure aimed at compensating school board members is also recommended as “Do Not Adopt.”

Full details of the 2019 recommendations, including the amendments and reaffirmation, are available in the Resolutions Committee Report.

Resolution proposals are submitted each year by school boards that are members of the Association. IASB staff works with the proposing school board(s) as needed, by reviewing and researching proposed resolutions to provide background on current law. Then, each proposed resolution is reviewed by the Resolutions Committee, made up of 21 school board members representing each of the Association’s divisions.

IASB membership votes on the recommendations each year at the Delegate Assembly, held in November in conjunction with the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. The decisions reached by member boards of education determine the direction of the Association’s advocacy efforts on behalf of its members.

Negotiations continue;
offers filed in several Illinois districts

Several Illinois school districts are in the process of extended negotiations and contract filings with the Illinois Education Labor Review Board (IELRB) signaling an intent to strike. Here is a summary of the labor issues across the state as of September 20.  As of this writing, there have been no strikes in 2019-2020 in Illinois.
The teachers union and support staff offers for Carbondale ESD 95 were posted to the IELRB website on September 11. The district reportedly settled with support staff last week. District 95 has three elementary schools and a middle school. The sticking points in the teacher contract negotiations include classroom furniture and classroom provision funds, as well as annual pay increases over the proposed three-year contract.
Nearby, the Murphysboro CUSD 186 final offer was posted by the IELRB on September 17. Negotiations center on percentage raises and qualifying steps. Murphysboro has K-2 and 3-5 elementary centers and a middle and high school.
More information is available from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB), which collects public postings for education-related final offers. IELRB postings can be accessed here.
The teachers and staff at Blue Ridge CUSD 18 in Farmer City have formed a “strike exploratory committee” after the district’s last offer. Positions were explained at a September 19 board meeting, and the negotiators are expected to meet again September 24.
Bremen CHSD 228, based in Midlothian with four south suburban high schools, continues negotiations with a federal mediator after starting the school year without a contract. Issues include salary and insurance, teacher evaluations, and climate.
The state’s largest school district, Chicago Public Schools, is continuing highly-publicized negotiations with the administration of Lori Lightfoot, in her first year as mayor. The Chicago Teachers Union is scheduled to vote this week and could set a strike date as early as October 7.
Evergreen Park ESD 124 teachers planned to file an intent to strike notice after negotiations broke down on September 20. The union represents 135 teachers and 70 paraprofessionals and support staff at four elementary schools and a middle school. The board notified parents of continuing negotiations, which include salary and its impact on teacher retention.
Talks include health insurance premiums, pension contributions, and salary in Mendota SD 289. Teachers reportedly filed an intent-to-strike notice and the next mediation session is scheduled for October 1. Mendota SD 289 has a building for kindergarten and first grade and another for grades 2-4. A middle school for fifth through eighth grades is also home to a preschool.
North Shore SD 112 teachers have completed a strike authorization vote. The 385-member North Shore Education Association and the district saw their contract expire in August and have been in federal mediation. Negotiations include planning time and continuing education, as well as salary. North Shore has seven elementary schools, a middle school, a junior high school, and an early childhood center.
In recent settlements, DeKalb CUSD 428 reached an agreement with its teachers in mid-September, averting a potential strike after months-long negotiations. Diamond Lake SD 76 (Mundelein) and its teachers approved a five-year contract offer with a September 24 date scheduled for ratification. Forest Park SD 91 and its teachers reached an agreement in late August after months of negotiations.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Holly Jack Award nominations due September 30

There is still time to submit nominations for IASB’s Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award for 2019. Districts are encouraged to recommend board or district secretaries who go above and beyond to serve staff, school board, community, and students.

Eligible nominees must be a district employee (superintendent’s secretary, superintendent’s administrative assistant, school board recording secretary, etc.) who has performed the duties of the board secretary for a minimum of five years.

The nomination form, with the signatures of the superintendent and board president, must be submitted by September 30. Letters of support from individuals, inside or outside the district, may be included but are limited to five or fewer.

The Holly Jack Award was created to honor the memory of long-time IASB employee Holly Jack, who worked as a field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in developing the secretaries’ training offered at the Joint Annual Conference. The honorary award will be presented in November at the Conference in Chicago during the Administrative Professionals’ Program.

Click here to view past winners. For more information about this year’s award, contact Peggy Goone by phone at 217-528-9688, ext. 1103; or by email at

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fall Division Meetings offer an array of topics

Topics have been announced for IASB’s Fall Division Meetings. All scheduled for October this season, they begin with four October 1 events, including Starved Rock Division’s visit with State Superintendent of Schools Carmen I. Ayala, Ph.D. discussing “Today’s Opportunities to Lead with Equity.

The North Cook Division will also feature the topic of educational equity, with “Equity: An Educational Imperative” presented by Bea Young and Susan O’Halloran on October 16

Click below for more and the complete list of dates and topics.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Nominations sought for 2019 Burroughs Award

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is inviting nominations of local board presidents for the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the state's outstanding school board president.

The award was created in 1991 in memory of the late ISBE chairman, who was at one time school board president for Collinsville CUSD 10. The Burroughs Award is presented each November at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials. This year’s Conference is November 22-24. The award will be presented on Sunday, November 24.

The Burroughs Award is intended to recognize extraordinary leadership on behalf of education at the local level, especially through characteristics similar to those shown by Burroughs. The criteria for this award recognize leadership on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence, on behalf of equal educational opportunities, and/or in resolving a crisis or major difficulty.

Last year’s recipient was Richard J. Nogal, president of the CHSD 230 (Orland Park).

Nominations can be submitted to ISBE Board Services Coordinator Ana Arredondo, via email at, with “Burroughs Nomination” as the subject. The deadline for nominations is October 4, 2019. Click here for complete nomination information.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Upcoming webinar:
The Culturally Responsive Board

IASB will host a free webinar to discuss how cultural differences on boards of education can lead to innovation and a more inclusive district. 

Presenters will talk about communication, decision-making, and other challenges that may occur when different cultures are present on a school board. Presenters will also emphasize that differences that are understood, embraced, and valued can lead to great things for the district and a more productive board of education.

The hour-long webinar, entitled “The Culturally Responsive Board” will begin at noon on Tuesday, September 17. Registration for the webinar is available through IASB's Online Learning Center. Visit, and select the "My Account" button to log in. From there, choose the Online Learning tab at the top of the page.

Individuals who can’t participate in the live webinar should plan to “attend” the archived version, which will be available 24-48 hours after the live event. All past webinars are available through IASB’s Online Learning archive free of charge.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Federal Legislative Report 116-05


As both House and Senate members return to Washington, D.C. after their August recess, the main focus will be FY20 appropriations, as the end of the current fiscal year is September 30.

In late July, Senate and House leaders reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal with President Trump, separate from the FY20 appropriations process. The measure increases aggregate spending by $320 billion over the next two fiscal years and lifts the debt ceiling until 2021. Included in the increase is an aggregate $57 billion increase for non-defense programs, including education. Absent a deal to increase the spending caps established by the Budget Control Act of 2011, federal education spending was expected to decline for the next fiscal year.

For FY20 appropriations, as reported in the last Federal Legislative Report (116-04), the House passed their version in late June, which included substantial funding increases for education. The focus is now on the Senate where staff had been working over the August recess to prepare for a push for a final vote before the end of September. However, it has been reported recently that Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has indicated he intends to decrease the allocation for Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee by $5 billion and redirect the funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall expansion. Senate and House Democrats have expressed opposition to this decision, and there are no indications that there are enough votes to approve this shift. It is uncertain if the Senate can complete their work before the end of the fiscal year with this idea on the table.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Panel titles, times, and more listed
in Conference Preview

The 2019 Joint Annual Conference Preview is now available on the IASB website. The 24-page informational booklet includes an at-a-glance schedule of major Conference events, plus descriptions and time slots for Panel Sessions, Pre-Conference Workshops, the School Safety and Security Seminar, and much more. 

This will be the 87th 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 November 22-24 event will carry the theme, “Transform Vision into Reality.”

The preview highlights 106 Panel Sessions, with topics ranging from school safety and referendum questions to district financials and legal issues (pages 6-13 of the Conference Preview). The 60-minute panels will be presented at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday; 7:30 and 10:30 a.m., and 12:30, 2, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday; and at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Grand Chicago and Hyatt Regency hotels. In addition to the regular Panel Sessions, 29 half-hour presentations will be featured at the Carousel of Panels (page 14) on Saturday, November 23 and 10 Coffee and Conversation (pg. 15) discussions will be held Sunday morning.

Friday, November 22 additional learning opportunities for school leaders. These events include eight IASB Pre-Conference Workshops (page 21), the half-day School Safety and Security Seminar (page 23), Illinois ASBO Pre-Conference Seminars, IASA Pre-Conference Sessions, and the Illinois Council of School Attorneys Seminar on School Law (page 22). These professional development workshops each require an additional fee and advance registration to attend.

The two-day Administrative Professionals’ Program (pages 16-17) takes place on Friday and Saturday. Attendees of this event, designed specifically for board/district secretaries and administrative professionals, must be paid Conference registrants, but there is no additional charge.

Information on other Conference activities, including the IASB Delegate Assembly (page 8), Exhibition of Educational Environments (page 12), Conference bookstore (page 15), and Exhibit Hall (page 18) are also featured in the Preview.

Newly named this year will be the IASB Info Center (previously IASB Homeroom), where board members can learn about and take part in demonstrations of various products and services. Members will also be able to meet with Association division officers, field services directors, and policy and executive search consultants.

Further details will be available in the official Conference Program, which can be picked up onsite at the Conference registration desk in the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Online registration is available at early-bird rates of $499 until October 1. Additional registration and housing information can be found online.

Friday, September 6, 2019

September/October Journal
updates administrator salaries

In the September/October issue of the Illinois School Board Journal, IASB and a team of educators from Western Illinois University add to the series of analyses of administrator salaries in Illinois. As usual, there is information on superintendents; this year there’s a separate study on principals. The annual series allows school boards to assess, over time, trends and changes in administrator pay. Each year provides a new perspective as the data – provided annually by ISBE – includes benefits to the mix for superintendents.

The Journal's regular features include tips for board presidents and policy prompts, especially for new board members. Watch for the new Journal in your mailbox, or read the digital edition by clicking on the image below.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

2019-2020 Annual School Calendar
now available

The 2019-2020 Annual School Calendar of legal dates and deadlines is now available.

The calendar is produce by IASB each year to assist school districts with preparing their local school calendars. Dates contained in this calendar comply with all statutory deadlines contained in the Election Code, School Code, and selected acts of the General Assembly. It does not contain dates imposed by the State Board of Education or its regulations.

The Annual School Calendar is posted online only to allow for revisions to be made in a timely manner if newly enacted legislation or other needed updates occur. It is also important to note that the calendar is published for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice from the school district legal counsel.