Good afternoon. This week’s most poignant moment will occur at the close of business today, when 84 agency staff will take advantage of the early retirement option and leave State Board service. Today’s message discusses that topic as well as the following:
The 84 individuals taking advantage of the early retirement initiative today brings the total of agency retirements under ERI to date to 139. That is a staff reduction of about 20 per cent since June, 2002, when the first “early retirees” left. Overall, agency headcount is down by about one-third since June, 2000.
I have not known our retirees very long but I have come to appreciate their talents and contributions. Many of them have been with the state education agency for many years (the retiree with the longest tenure began in 1966) and they have helped to bring about many important improvements to our state’s educational system. You know many of them personally and I am sure you join me in extending heartfelt appreciation for their contributions and best wishes for all of their future endeavors.
We have been working hard to reassign responsibility for programs where managers and staff are retiring, and an updated organization chart and agency contact information will be posted on our website Monday. Meanwhile, if you have questions, call the unit traditionally responsible for the topic or issue and you will be directed to an appropriate respondent. If you experience difficulties reaching the people you need to reach at ISBE, simply send an e-mail to Statesup@isbe.net and someone will be in touch with you.
such time as we can fill many vacant positions on a permanent basis, the
following supervisory and other personnel changes are effective as of March 1,
CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING:
Lee Patton, currently Policy Analyst, temporarily will assume the responsibilities of Frank Llano as manager of the Teaching and Leadership Department and of Mike Long as Division Administrator for Professional Preparation and Recruitment.
Dennis Williams, currently Division Administrator for Teacher Certification, will also assume the responsibilities of Rob Sampson, retiring Division Administrator for Certificate Renewal Division.
Kathryn Cox, currently
acting Division Supervisor for Special Education Services, will assume the
responsibilities of the retiring Jack Shook as Division Administrator of Special
Education Services –
Gail Lieberman, currently assistant to the Director of Teaching and Learning, will temporarily assume the responsibilities of Richard Miguel as manager of Standards-Aligned Learning and Tanya Patton as Division Administrator of New Learning Opportunities.
CENTER FOR PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE:
Lynne Haeffele-Curry continues as director. She will also be responsible for the divisions of Student and School Progress and for External Relations; she will also temporarily serve as division administrator for ROE Services, a position formerly held by Ray Schaljo.
Don Full, currently Division Administrator for Accountability, will temporarily add the duties previously performed by Sheryl Poggi as Division Administrator for System of Support.
Connie Wise, currently Division Administrator for Data Analysis and Data Reporting, will also temporarily serve as Division Administrator for Student Assessment, succeeding Carmen Chapman-Pfeiffer.
CENTER FOR OPERATIONS
Donna Luallen, formerly
district superintendent in
Two acting Division Administrators have been given permanent status: Dave McDermott for Budget and Financial Management and Deborah Vespa for School Business and Support Services.
Robert Wolfe, becomes Division Administrator for External Assurance, succeeding Nancy Spinner, and Timothy Imler becomes Division Administrator for Funding and Disbursement, succeeding Marcia Sailsbury.
CENTER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION
Wade Nelson, director, will also serve as Division Administrator for Public Service and Communications, a position held by the late Kim Knauer.
Time-sensitive Alert for Teachers
Teachers who hold an Initial
Teaching Certificate and who will complete four years of experience by
House Education Appropriations Committee
I appeared before the House Education Appropriations Committee on Wednesday to discuss state categorical funds for schools. My testimony had two parts:
· the need for a supplemental appropriation of $32M this year to meet the federal maintenance of effort requirements for categorical programs; and
· the State Board’s budget request for full funding of the mandated formula categorical programs, which will require an increase of $211M.
I again pointed out, as vigorously as it is possible to do, that underfunding of mandated categorical programs intensifies local district financial problems, since you must provide the services and make up for the shortage with other funds.
An audio version of my presentation to the committee is available on the State Board website – http://www.isbe.net.
21st Century Community Learning Centers Grants
Thirty-five local agencies have been awarded 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants to provide low-income students with high-quality, after-school programs that focus on academics, especially in reading and mathematics.
This program is part of the NCLB law and is designed to support improved achievement. Guidelines for high-quality, research-based after-school programs were developed in collaboration with the Governor’s Task Force for After School Programs and the Department of Human Resources.
Agencies eligible to apply for the competitive grants included public school districts, public university laboratory schools, charter schools, area vocational centers, community-based organizations, and other public private entities. A total of 157 applications were received and the final decisions were based on recommendations from an educator review team. Grant recipients are identified in a press release at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/feb26-03.htm.
Seventeen local school districts
will share the $11M available to
Eligibility for these competitive grants was based on the number of third-grade students not meeting the English Language Arts Learning Standards and the number of low-income students. A list of the grant recipients can be seen on the State Board website at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/feb20-03.htm. Additional grants may be awarded in the future.
Constitutionally Protected Prayer Certification Process
As mentioned in the Superintendent's Bulletin on February 21, 2003, Section 9524 of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, a district must certify in writing to its State educational agency that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in the federal guidance. Information may be accessed at www.ed.gov or www.isbe.net/nclb.
In order to receive
these federal funds, a district must certify in writing that no policy of the
district prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally
protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools as set forth in this
guidance. While the original date
for submitting this certification was
In terms of the recent
timeframe, the district will need to provide initial certification by
complete and return the following certification to your regional office of
education by March 15th. The
regional superintendent/staff will aggregate these figures and return them to
the State Board of Education [Attention: Gail Lieberman,
No policy of the district prevents, or otherwise denies participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary schools and secondary schools as set forth in the “Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools” from USDE.
Name of District Date
Name of District Superintendent Phone Number
Signature of District Superintendent
Poverty Counts – Federal and State
Finally, I would like to recapitulate some information we have shared with you previously regarding the issue of the poverty counts used by the federal government for the Title 1 program and by the state for the poverty component of General State Aid.
Federal: We have no say in the federal government’s use of census figures to determine distribution of Title 1 money.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the 1999 Small Area Income Poverty Estimates for school districts, which the U.S. Department of Education will use 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 http://www.census.gov/housing/saipe/sd99/sd99_IL.dat. 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.
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
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 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/saipe/faq.html.
State: The poverty component of the Illinois General State Aid formula will be based on a separate set of poverty data derived from decennial census – unless the General Assembly enacts legislation to change to a different measure.
ISBE supports the recommendation of the Education Funding Advisory Board that the state should adopt the use of the count of children from low-income households as determined by the Department of Human Services as the measure used in the calculation of the GSA poverty grant.
This approach is embodied in House Bill 430, which ISBE supports. If you believe the DHS count gives a more accurate picture of poverty in our state, contact your legislators regarding HB 430.