Well, the end of this
session of the General Assembly is yet to be determined so we can not report at
this time how the Fiscal Year 05 budget will impact K-through-12 education in
That being said, I do
believe it is of great importance that we highlight one of the most substantive
pieces of legislation whose future looks successful. Last night the House
Elementary and Secondary Education committee unanimously approved streamlining
the teacher certification process as proposed in Senate Bill 1553. This bill is
the result of an incredibly productive process facilitated by House Speaker
Michael Madigan following hearings on the Governor’s original proposal to change
the structure of the Teacher
The House saw through
that smokescreen and instead chose to make the necessary changes to the teacher
certification process in
The legislation could make its way through the House and onto the Senate as early as today. House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie brought everyone to the table and we are grateful and proud of the end-product.
While I sent you a
summary of the changes this morning, some of improvements address the class of
2004, initial certificate holders seeking the standard certificate, will
automatically receive a one-year extension period of Initial certificates that
will expire on
As part of SB 1553, there is an amendment to the school construction law, which maintains the current administration of the school construction program with the Illinois State Board of Education and Capital Development Board. There is also a continuing appropriation of $13 million to the Teacher Health Insurance Security Fund through 2007.
Also, I am glad to
announce, and by now you have likely received word, that we rolled out the
E-Grant Management System this week. Within a few hours on Wednesday we had more
than 100 districts access the system.
In parting, I want to
acknowledge some of the departures that were announced this week, include the
retirements of Lugene Finley, Director of Information Technology; Lee Patton,
Interim Director of Teacher
These five people
represent more than a century of experience in education and more than 80 years
of experience ISBE. Their contributions can not go unnoticed, their knowledge
can not be transferred or replaced and their dedication to public education in
While we still have no final language of how pending legislation will affect the administration at the State Board of Education, there will likely be changes in faces at ISBE. It is my sincere hope that whatever changes occur that we are fortunate enough to have the same caliber of people come into this agency, and that their first priority is the providing the best education possible for all of our children.
For those of you dismissing classes for the summer, I wish you a wonderful summer and commend you on another successful year. And for those of you who will be back next week, I wish you a restful Memorial Day weekend. I assure you that we will keep you abreast of the final decisions regarding funding and governance of education once the General Assembly adjourns.
Included in today’s weekly message:
· Legislative Update
· Annual Financial Reports Information
· News Clips
The Spring 2004 waiver requests have now been finalized by the General Assembly. The following school districts were denied waivers:
Summit SD 104 (
Rutland CCSD 230 (
Wallace CCSD 195 (
Waukegan CUSD 60 (
Steeleville CUSD 138 (
General Assembly also approved a request from Ridgeview CUSD 19
The following bills have now passed both chambers of the legislature and will be forwarded to the Governor for final action:
HB752 requires all children in kindergarten and the second and sixth grades of any public, private, or parochial school to have a dental examination. The bill provides that if a child in the second or sixth grade fails to present proof of having been examined by a dentist by May 15th of the school year, the school may hold the child's report card until one of the following occurs: (i) the child presents proof of a completed dental examination or (ii) the child presents proof that a dental examination will take place within 60 days after May 15th. Requires the Department of Public Health to establish, by rule, a waiver for children who show an undue burden or a lack of access to a dentist.
HB5215 provides that school districts or special education cooperatives are not required to respond to a request from an interested private school bus contractor more than once every two years. Currently, school districts that own and operate their own buses are required to solicit sealed bids if the district receives a request from an interested private school bus contractor.
SB2112 would increase the maximum for the general homestead exemption and the senior homestead exemption. It would also allow counties to adopt an alternative general homestead exemption for property taxes which would cap property tax assessments at seven percent annually for residences. For non tax-cap districts, all of these exemptions would result in less property tax revenue. The alternative exemption would also cause problems in the General State Aid formula for all school districts in any county that opts in.
SB2395 would allow a licensed speech-language pathologist to receive a certificate from ISBE to work in a school without having to meet the content area standards for speech pathologists. The bill would instead allow a person who does not meet these standards to complete 150 hours of supervised experience in speech-language pathology with students with disabilities in a school setting.
SB2940 provides that school health examinations shall include the collection of data relating to obesity, including at a minimum, date of birth, gender, height, weight, blood pressure, and date of exam. It requires the Department of Public Health to collect and maintain health data on the extent, nature, and impact of obesity. The Department of Public Health may collect health data from local schools and the State Board of Education relating to obesity on health examination forms.
HB6906 requires a school board to spend at least 40% of the money it receives from Title 2 grants under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 on recruitment and retention initiatives to assist in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers. As the number of highly qualified teachers increases in a school district, the school board may use any surplus of the Title 2 funds in any manner deemed appropriate.
SB2349 provides that in recomputing a general State aid claim that was originally calculated using an extension limitation equalized assessed valuation, a qualifying reduction in equalized assessed valuation shall be deducted from the extension limitation equalized assessed valuation that was used in calculating the original claim. Provides that in calculating the amount of State aid to be apportioned to school districts, the State Board of Education shall incorporate and deduct the total aggregate adjustments to assessments made by the State Property Tax Appeal Board or Cook County Board of Appeals from the equalized assessed valuation that is otherwise to be utilized in the initial calculation. Provides that from the total amount of general State aid to be provided to schools districts, adjustments under (i) the Section allowing recomputation of State aid claims and (ii) the Section requiring the incorporation and deduction of adjustments to assessments in calculating State aid together must not exceed $25 million of the general State aid appropriation in any fiscal year. Includes provisions concerning proration.
Annual Financial Reports Information
It is time to complete the audit for fiscal year 2003-2004 (FY04). Section 3-7 of the School Code sets forth the duties and responsibilities needed to meet this requirement.
For the year ending
There are several items regarding the FY04 AFR that we would like to bring to your attention.
filing deadline for the AFR is
Note: Auditors’ notes and report letters must
be submitted on paper if not submitting electronically. Copies of all documents must be filed
“Limitation of Administrative Costs Worksheet” is included
with the AFR. It must be filed with
our office by November
The AFR and related
materials will be posted out on the specified website (listed below) on
http://www.isbe.net/ Select School Finance, and
Instructions and related requirements for submitting the school district/joint agreement AFR are provided on the form(s). See the AFR’s Table of Contents (TOC tab).
If you have any
questions or need assistance, please contact the School Business and Support
Services Division at
Weekly News Clips
To read this week’s news clips, please visit http://www.isbe.net/news/2004/newsclips/040528.htm