For those who aren’t big fans of my weekly missive, you’re in luck. I’m easing my way slowly back into the work week in terms of the opener. Back to normal next week. However, I do have a couple of quick notes . . .
I know that most, if not all, of you saw last week’s
press announcement and the accompanying stories regarding the approval of our
Also, I know many of you are awaiting more specific information regarding the program initiatives coming out of the spring session of the 94th General Assembly. As bills are signed by the Governor, we will work to get guidance to schools and districts in a forthright manner. Mobilizing around the 65-plus education bills passed has been the raison d’etre of the Agency over these past few weeks. Like many of you, especially given this spring session, we also have to do “more with less.” We appreciate your patience.
Hope your weekend was nice . . . and have a great week.
Also included in today’s message:
Although a review of each bill appears as it is passed or vetoed on the End of Session report, here is a quick rundown of some highlighted legislation that has been signed into law over the few weeks:
SB 64 (Public Act
SB 226 (Public Act
legislation amends the Open Meetings Act. If a public body has a website
maintained by the body's full-time staff, this legislation requires that the
public body post on the website (i) notice of any agenda of a regular meeting of
the public body's governing body, (ii) notice of all meetings of the governing
body, and (iii) beginning July 1, 2006, minutes of regular meetings of the
governing body open to the public. It also specifies how long the postings must
remain on the website and states that a failure to post on the website does not
invalidate meetings or actions of the governing body. Other additional changes
are also made to the Open Meetings Act in this legislation. Certain provisions
are effective immediately, with others effective
SB 1815 (Public Act 94-0069): Education BIMP Bill. Among other things, this legislation requires the State Board of Education to test (1) all pupils enrolled in the 5th and 8th grades in writing during the 2006-2007 school year; (2) all pupils enrolled in the 5th, 6th, and 8th grades in writing during the 2007-2008 school year; and (3) all pupils enrolled in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th grades in writing during the 2008-2009 school year and each school year thereafter. The Prairie State Achievement Examination shall measure student performance in writing beginning with the 2006-2007 school year.
SB 1676 (Public Act 94-0105): Effective immediately, this legislation provides that individuals who have successfully achieved National Board certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will be issued a Master School Service Personnel Certificate, valid for 10 years. In provisions concerning the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program, this legislation provides for an annual payment of $3,000 to be paid to each school counselor who receives a Master Certificate and is employed as a school counselor by a school district.
For the complete list of legislation that has been acted upon, please see the End of Session report.
Public Act 093-0946 (Health Examinations and Immunizations)
1. the child presents proof of a completed dental examination;
2. the child presents proof that a dental examination will take place within 60 days after May 15; or
3. the parents obtain a waiver from the Department of Public Health or provide objection to the dental examination on religious grounds.
The Illinois Department of Public Health shall establish a waiver for children who show an undue burden or a lack of access to a dentist.
Each public, private, and parochial school must give notice of this dental examination requirement to the parents and guardians of students at least 60 days before May 15 of each school year.
Every school shall report to the State Board of Education by June 30, in the manner that the State Board requires, the number of children who have received the required dental examination, indicating, of those who have not received the required dental examination, the number of children who are exempt from the dental examination on religious grounds and the number of children who have received a waiver.
Due to a recent United States Department of Education compliance audit that included Title I Low Income, the Illinois State Board of Education is required to revise the current requirements for local education agencies to waive carryover of more than 15 percent of their current year Title I allocation. Specifically, all Title I carryover waiver requests must include a description of why the 15 percent was exceeded as well as the specific activities to be carried out and the amount of funds to be expended for each proposed activity to bring the excess carryover below the 15 percent maximum. This revision is effective immediately. A copy of the new waiver policy can be viewed at http://www.isbe.net/funding/pdf/carryover_waiver.pdf
Questions regarding Title I waivers can be directed to Jacquie Hayes firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Lewis email@example.com in the Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256.
Two sets of proposed rules that were reviewed by the
State Board of Education at its June meeting are now available for public
comment. These items have been posted on the agency’s web site at www.isbe.net/rules; choose
“Proposed Rules and Amendments”. Please submit any comments or suggestions you
may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for
public comment is
Part 260 (Reading Improvement Program)
This set of amendments results from the comprehensive review of ISBE’s rules. Section 2-3.51 of the School Code establishes the purposes for which funds under the Reading Improvement Block Grant Program may be used and also the formula by which the funds are to be allocated to eligible applicants. However, the law also requires that applicants annually demonstrate their eligibility for continued funding based on “performance progress”, and it permits them to propose the method(s) by which they will do so.
The rules for this program are complex because of the need to state the criteria by which proposed methods will be approved, as well as the need to define “performance progress”. Procedural aspects of the rules also affect staff’s ability to meet the first payment date for these funds that is set in the law. In particular, it is necessary to know the universe of eligible entities so that accurate allocations can be made. This, in turn, leads to a need for earlier reporting of assessment results than has been the case in the past, as well as finality in the identification of the assessment methods that will be used.
Despite the statutorily established first payment date of October 30, the current rules provide for a November 1 deadline for the submission of performance reports for the preceding school year. Agency staff involved when these rules were most recently amended had hoped to avoid causing districts to implement extra assessments and thus allowed for the use of measurement early in the subsequent year. However, this has not proven feasible because large numbers of reports have been submitted in the fall, making the October 30 deadline difficult to meet.
It is only fair that the agency make timely determinations of districts’ continued eligibility so that their first payment can flow when required. Consequently we are proposing a change in the reporting deadline from November 1 of the subsequent year to June 15 for districts not using ISAT results and 30 days after districts’ receipt of ISAT scores if those are used.
We recognize that some districts will be compelled by
this change to propose different methods of measuring students’ growth in
reading in order to demonstrate performance progress. We believe it is
imperative to make this change starting with the upcoming school year, and this
means districts must know now that the applications they complete over the
summer of 2005 will need to identify methods to be implemented next spring
(rather than in the fall of 2006). Consequently the change in the reporting
deadline has been placed into effect as of
The proposed amendments are intended to streamline the operation of the program in the respects discussed above and to eliminate some language that is not needed. For example, Section 260.50(b) contains a sentence that is outdated and can be deleted. Similarly, Section 260.55(b), (c), and (d) are unnecessary, because the statute explicitly requires measurement of “the reading growth of students who receive direct instruction as a result of the funding and the impact of staff development activities on student growth in reading”. Also, new language in Section 260.55(i) will provide for a preliminary, less formal avenue of review when districts may be facing ineligibility. Finally, we are generally replacing the word “form” with “format” to denote the upcoming electronic operation of this grant process.
Part 675 (Providers of Supplemental Educational Services)
Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
The programmatic requirements, approval criteria, procedures, and reporting requirements for the providers of Supplemental Education Services fall within the definition of “rule” provided by the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and therefore need to be promulgated as rules.
Please note that identical emergency rules were placed
into effect on
You may view last week’s news clips at http://www.isbe.net/news/2005/newsclips/050701.htm.