Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 3:09 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 2/14/03

Good Afternoon. The regularly scheduled meeting of the State Board of Education next week will be for one day only, February 19, 2003. Board members will act on recommendations of the Assessment and Accountability Task Force regarding annual yearly progress (AYP) requirements for the state’s educational accountability system. The agenda is at, and the twenty-minute board packet is at


Next week, I will also be testifying before committees in both the House and Senate. The schedule for the hearings is included in this message, along with these other topics:


Schedule of House and Senate Committee Appearances

I will testify at three committee hearings next week:


February 18, 9:00 a.m., Room 400, the Capitol; Subject: Education Funding Advisory Board – The Senate Education Committee has also invited State Board Chairman Ronald Gidwitz and EFAB Chairman Robert Leininger to testify.


February 19, 2:00 p.m., Room 118, the Capitol; Subject: General State Aid – The House Education Appropriations Committee hearing continues.


February 20: 8:00 a.m., the Capitol; Subject: No Child Left Behind legislation – The House Education Committee has asked for an overview of the legislation.



Homeland Security Information

We have received several calls asking for advice on disaster preparations since the President raised the Homeland Security Advisory System threat level to high (orange level). We are advised that every county has an emergency management person who is responsible for coordinating the county’s disaster preparedness plans. The best preparation for any potential disaster is to review your school and district disaster plans regularly, to coordinate your plans with the county’s emergency management plan, and to have a designated person to keep in contact with the county emergency management staff and with local law enforcement and fire department officials.


You can also find a large amount of additional information on Governor Blagojevich’s Homeland Security Web pages at Included are American Red Cross guidelines for recommended action at each of the threat level classifications, which were adopted by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, as well as “County and Municipal Government Guidelines for Implementation of the State of Illinois Homeland Security Advisory System,” developed by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.


The Illinois Emergency Management Agency also has a good Web site for further information about emergency planning:



Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) and Title 1 Funding

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the 1999 Small Area Income Poverty Estimates for school districts.  We understand that the U.S. Department of Education will use these numbers as the basis for Title I funding.  In addition to SAIPE, the Department of Education will include other poverty measures, such as children in (1) institutions for the neglected and delinquent; (2) foster homes; and (3) families above poverty receiving assistance under the TANF program.  However, children from these three other poverty measures will add little to the Title I–eligible count for districts – only 0% to about 5%. 


SAIPE data for your district is at  For the poverty estimate, look at the third column of data after the district name.  It comes just before “sd99_IL.dat” in the fourth column. 


The Census Bureau has provided an appeal process for those who believe a SAIPE  estimate is incorrect.  Appeals should be sent directly to the U. S. Census Bureau to Dr. Daniel Weinberg, Chief, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233-8500, via fax to 301/457-6813, or via
e-mail to


For details on appeals, please refer to Question #24, and if you have other related questions, refer to Question #25 of the Frequently-Asked-Questions section of the SAIPE Web site at 


Please note that while SAIPE will be used for Title I funding, the poverty impaction part of the Illinois General State Aid formula will be based on a separate set of poverty data derived from decennial census.  Information was provided in the Weekly Message from the State Superintendent on February 7, 2003, in the section entitled, “Preliminary 2000 Census Data.”  The data for all districts relative to General State Aid may be seen at  No appeal process is in place for this data item from the decennial census.  These data are considered preliminary because we were not given the actual counts for dual districts (elementary and high schools) so ISBE staff estimated the data for such districts by prorating the 6-year cohort data.  The data will be finalized as soon as we obtain the single-year cohort data for dual districts from the U.S. Department of Education.  Unit districts are not affected, so their low-income data will not likely change.



Public Comment Period on Administrative Rules for Induction and Mentoring

The public comment period on the administrative rules for induction and mentoring concluded on January 27, 2003. Staff are reviewing the comments and will present a proposal to the State Board of Education at its March meeting. If you are interested in the proposed guidelines for approved induction and mentoring programs, you can examine the rules at Although they are still in draft form, the rules in Section 25.910, “Requirements for Induction and Mentoring,” represent the most recent effort to define the expectations of induction and mentoring programs. Please understand that these are not final and are subject to modification.


In regards to funding for induction and mentoring in FY03, ISBE believes the money appropriated is effectively frozen. If there is a change in this situation, the State Board will promptly notify school districts, regional offices of education, and other stakeholders. Additionally, directions for submitting proposals for State Board review will be shared.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education