Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 5:08 PM
To: District Superintendents, ROEs, Directors of Special Education
Subject: Administrative Update from State Superintendent Robert Schiller

During my tenure as State Superintendent, I hope to use e-mail to communicate with you regularly.  In addition to messages designed to initiate dialogue about timely and important issues and to seek your advice about state policies, programs and services, I will send out, as needed, an "Administrative Update" e-mail.  It will bring you current information from ISBE regarding administrative and operational programs and procedures.  This is the first of such administrative messages.

Today's Topics:

       Public Hearings Set on Revised School Code Draft
       First General State Aid Payments Distributed Today

Copies Available, Public Hearings Set on Revised School Code

The Governor's Commission on Revising the Illinois School Code will conduct hearings at local community college campuses to discuss proposed School Code changes and gather public opinion on the commission-recommended revisions.  An electronic copy of the 1,400-page document is available on line at  A printed copy will also be available for review at each public library.

The Governor's Commission on Revising the School Code was created in Executive Order #7 and is comprised of a variety of persons from across the state. The purpose of this commission is to conduct a comprehensive study of the existing School Code.

The Commission will hold hearings from 5:00 - 9:00 PM at the following community college sites:

August 15, 2002         Lewis and Clark - Godfrey, IL  
August 22, 2002         John A. Logan - Carterville, IL
August 29, 2002         Richland - Decatur, IL 
September 5, 2002               Carl Sandburg - Galesburg, IL  
September 12, 2002              Wilbur Wright - Chicago, IL    
September 19, 2002              Elgin CC - Elgin, IL   
Participants who require special accommodations should submit a written request at least 48 hours in advance to the Illinois State Board of Education at (fax) 217/524-8585 or Public Information, 100 North First, Springfield, IL 62777.

Written comments should be sent to


First General State Aid Payments Distributed Today

The first FY 2003 GSA distribution was made today, Monday, August 12, 2002.  The second will be made on Wednesday, August 21, 2002.  Semi-monthly payments for 1/24th of the net entitlement will be made through the end of July 2003.  The July 2003 payments will likely be accelerated and made in June 2003, as has been done in the past.  All districts and Regional Offices will be notified as soon as the accelerated July 2003 payments have been confirmed.

Other GSA Information . . .

       Fund Transfer or Supplemental Appropriation Needed.  A legislatively authorized funds transfer or a supplemental appropriation will be needed during FY 03 in order to fully fund the foundation level in the General State Aid formula.  Staff estimates that the GSA appropriation is about $20 million short.  If no additional dollars are provided, the funding will have to be prorated. 

       $355 (less than 10%),
       $675 (10%-20%),
       $1,330 (20%-35%),
       $1,362 (35%-50%),
       $1,680 (50%-60%), and
       $2,080 (equal to or greater than 60%). 

The 20% - 35% category was increased from $1,190 to $1,330 and the 35% - 50% category was increased from $1,333 to $1,362.

Reminder:   Computation reports are posted and available on the web by clicking on the words "Electronic GSA Inquiry" at

       Electronic Submission of the GSA Claim.   This is the third year for the electronic submission of the GSA claim. Of the 697 districts signed-up to complete their claim electronically, 446 districts chose to do so. Electronic submission of the GSA claim has many benefits to include front-end edit checks, accurate mathematics and rapid claim transmission without the cost of paper or postage. Electronic submission of the GSA claim is mandated for FY 2004 and will also move into the ISBE Web Application Security (IWAS) system. Detailed instructions shall be communicated this fall when the GSA claim is moved into the IWAS system.

       Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL).  As in the past, districts subject to the PTELL require an additional calculation to determine the EAV to be used in the calculation of their GSA entitlement.  The intent of this calculation is to assure that the EAV used to determine GSA does not increase at a rate greater than the district's property tax extension.  The actual calculation of this adjustment can be found on the GSA calculation page distributed to each district.

       Additional Legislation Affecting the FY 2003 GSA Calculations.  House Bill 3673 (Public Act 92-3673) provides that if property comprising an aggregate assessed valuation equal to 6% or more of the total assessed valuation of all taxable property in a school district is owned by a person or corporation that is the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or that has been adjudged as bankrupt and, as a result thereof, has not paid taxes on the property, then the district may amend its general State aid claim  (i) back to the inception of the bankruptcy, not to exceed 6 years, in which time those taxes were not  paid  and  (ii)  for  each succeeding year that those taxes remain unpaid, by adding to the claim an  amount  determined  by  multiplying  the assessed valuation of the property by the lesser of the total tax rate for the district for  the tax year for which the taxes are unpaid or the applicable rate used in calculating the district's general State aid.

       GSA Hold Harmless.  The ongoing GSA Hold Harmless is calculated and also appears on your GSA computation report.  Funding for this comes from a dedicated appropriation and is distributed as a separate payment.   The GSA Hold Harmless is determined by comparing the FY 2003 gross entitlement to the actual combined 1997-1998 GSA and Hold Harmless payments.  If the FY 2003 entitlement is less, the difference constitutes the district's GSA Hold Harmless entitlement.  All audit adjustments whether they are positive or negative are applied subsequent to the GSA Entitlement calculation.  Hold Harmless payments will be made in a single installment in August.

       Accelerated Payment of Prior Year EAV Adjustments.  Prior to FY 2001, adjustments to a district's EAV (i.e., Property Tax Appeal Board decisions, Certificates of Error, etc.) used in the computation of prior year GSA entitlements were distributed equally over the entire fiscal year.  In FY 2003, these adjustments were paid separately in July.  Again, in FY 2003, these adjustments were disbursed as a single installment at the beginning of the fiscal year.  This was done in order to mitigate in part the impact of the forfeited local property taxes.  Prior year EAV adjustments are based solely on GSA recalculations.  Hold Harmless is not recalculated.

       School Safety and Education Improvement Block Grant (ADA Block Grant).  Each district and laboratory school qualifies for an FY 2003 School Safety and Education Improvement Block Grant which equals $35.85 per ADA multiplied times each district's best three months ADA.  The General Assembly decreased the ADA Block Grant by $3.1 million for a total FY 2003 appropriation of $66.9 million.  This ADA Block Grant will be distributed in two equal installments, the first in October 2002 and the second in April 2003 per statute.

Dr. Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education

100 North First Street

Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001