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News

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2004

Schiller: New electronic grant system is a “win-win for school districts”

(SPRINGFIELD) – Schools statewide will soon be spending less time filling out paperwork and sending grant applications off in the mail.

State Superintendent of Schools Robert Schiller Monday formally unveiled the E-Grant Management System (eGMS) in Springfield before more than 150 school administrators.

The State Board of Education began training sessions last week to assist school administrators statewide to utilize the new E-Grant Management System (eGMS). ISBE worked with 14 pilot districts last summer when it first began to develop the program.

First and foremost the new program will reduce paperwork and expedite the approval and release of funds. Currently, more than 1,200 people have signed up for the training sessions, which required ISBE to add more training sessions to accommodate the interest in the new electronic application.

“Prepare to save on paper costs,” State Superintendent Robert Schiller said. “The E-Grant Management System is for education what e-file was for the Internal Revenue Service: it’s easier, it’s faster and best of all it’s paperless.”

Currently, the grant application process can be filled with redundancies, applications may be repeatedly revised and corrected in a paper form, which then results in the constant need to check and recheck data.

The new eGMS will:

  • Improve communication between grant administrators and districts
  • Reduce paperwork
  • Increase the quality of data
  • Allow schools to track grant status
  • Electronic notification to recipients upon grant approval
  • Expedite the release of funds

“We are supposed to support districts, and through this new program we have found a win-win for both districts and ISBE,” said Schiller. “This process makes all of our lives easier.”

ISBE plans to concentrate the initial implementation of the program this spring on the Fiscal Year 2005 No Child Left Behind Consolidated Application. Districts will submit the FY05 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) consolidated application for the following grants:

  • Title I, Part A, Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
  • Title II, Part A, Teacher Quality
  • Title II, Part D, Enhancing Education Through Technology
  • Title IV, Part A, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities
  • Title V, Part A, Innovative Programs

The eGMS program will be interfaced with the State Board’s Web Application Security System (IWAS) and the existing Financial Reimbursement Information System (FRIS). It is the full integration of these systems that will result in a substantial reduction of ISBE staff preparing, reviewing and processing grants. Instead staff can focus on expedient grant approvals.

“This system eliminates the paper shuffle,” Schiller said. “Instead of moving a piece of paper from person-to-person, each one of the people involved in the grant application can call it up on the computer, approve or amend it, electronically file it with ISBE, and track the status of the grant.”

ISBE will eventually phase in more than 60 grant programs online over the next few years. The program cost was $2.5 million, and will be used by all of Illinois’ 888 school districts, as well as Regional Safe Schools, charter schools, the Department of Human Services, Regional Offices of Education and other grant recipients.

Information on the additional training sessions can be found at: http://www.isbe.net/egms/default.htm

A list of attendees can be found at: http://www.isbe.net/news/2004/attendance_e-GMS.pdf

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777