Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 2:42 PM
To: 'Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents '
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 5-09-03

Good afternoon.

Budget analysis and discussions continued to dominate our activities this week, and we continue to work to comply with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

This message contains information on the following issues:

·        Announcement of the May State Board meeting

·        An update on the FY04 budget

·        A summary of the proposed Illinois criteria for being considered a “highly qualified” teacher under NCLB

·        Two notices of completed rulemaking, one regarding certification and one regarding special education

·        Information about a tool kit for school boards to support efforts to prevent HIV infection

May Meeting of the State Board of Education

The May meeting of the State Board of Education is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, May 12–13, 2003, in the State Board offices, 100 North First Street, Springfield. In Chicago, interested parties may listen to the meeting at the ISBE office on the 14th floor of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph. The meeting will convene for a closed session at 6:30 p.m. on May 12. The Tuesday session begins at 10 a.m. The 20-minute packet and meeting agenda will be posted at

Update on the FY04 Budget

The budget process continued to pick up steam this week, highlighted Tuesday by a rare session of the House meeting as a Committee of the Whole to discuss the proposed education budget. State Budget Director John Filan and I testified and answered members’ questions for more than four hours, and that was followed by several more hours of testimony from the public.

At the session, I reiterated the budget position taken last week by the State Board, which advocates directing more resources to the mandated categoricals, keeping some functions at ISBE that the Governor has proposed to transfer, and fully funding some programs he has proposed to eliminate, principally the ROE functions and the Truant Alternative Program. (For full details of the State Board’s position, see the May 1, 2003, news release on our Web site at

Several representatives asked me about disparities between our agency’s estimates of  the impact of  the Governor’s budget and the estimates that superintendents have made in their own districts. I told them – as I have told you – that the process of analyzing these numbers is complex and that some districts may be using premises to reach their conclusions that are different from the premises we used. I told the representatives that my staff will make every attempt to reconcile differing estimates with any local superintendent who wishes to discuss them.

On Wednesday, I spent several more hours meeting with both Senate caucuses to discuss budget issues further. Yesterday I was the luncheon speaker at the IASA meeting in Springfield, and in the afternoon I stood up with ROEs and others at a Capitol news conference in support of restoration of the ROE-services line to the budget.

Next week, in addition to the continuing budget discussions and the monthly State Board meeting, I will participate in a P-16 conference at the University of Illinois in Urbana and speak at the ROE Connecting Conference in Peoria.

Proposed Illinois Criteria for Being Considered a Highly Qualified Teacher
under NCLB

We have completed work on proposed Illinois criteria for meeting the NCLB requirements for highly qualified teachers. The State Board will consider these for adoption on Tuesday, May 13, 2003. Background for the proposal and the recommended criteria is at I urge you and your teachers to review it as soon as possible.

If you have comments, you may submit them to me by e-mail ( Keep in mind that the State Board is required to develop criteria for highly qualified teachers and we have made every effort to meet, but not exceed, the NCLB requirements.

Some highlights of the DRAFT proposal:

·        For NCLB purposes new teachers are defined as those who were first certified in Illinois on or after July 1, 2002. Current teachers are those who were first certified in Illinois before that date (that is, on or before June 30, 2002).

·        Current teachers have seven options by which to be considered highly qualified. These options are broad and should encompass most current teachers in their primary assignment and many in their second and even third assignments.

·        New Elementary Certificate holders are considered highly qualified if they pass the Elementary/Middle Grades Test (The test is being renamed to reflect the range of content knowledge; there is no change in the test.)

·        Current special education teachers are considered highly qualified if they hold one of four special education certification options and pass the tests for those certificates and endorsements. New special education teachers are considered highly qualified if they hold one of the special education certification options and pass the Elementary/Middle Grades Test. Alternatively, new special educators can be considered highly qualified if they pass subject-area tests specific to the subject area of their teaching responsibility or meet other identified options. Special educators who serve as consultants for other teachers and are not the “teacher of record” are not required to meet the requirements for “highly qualified.”

·        Provisional certificate holders based on an out-of-state certificate will be considered to be highly qualified.

·        Holders of Transitional Bilingual Certificates (Type 29) are considered to be highly qualified if they meet certain specifications and are participating in an “alternative program” that meets the federal definition. This requires support and continuing professional development for the teacher as he or she moves toward full certification in three years.

·        The overall formula for new teachers to be considered highly qualified in Illinois will be a bachelor’s degree plus assignment plus appropriate certification for teaching area and grade level plus demonstration of subject-area competence via tests, coursework, or advanced degrees.

The State Board Web site will be updated on Wednesday, May 14, 2003, to report on State Board action and identify next steps.

Notice of Completed Rulemaking: Certification and Special Education

Two rulemaking items recently adopted by the State Board of Education are now in effect. Both these sets of rules have been posted on the agency’s Web site at; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number. (If you print only the affected Sections, remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.)

Certification (Part 25)

The amendments contained in this set of rules implement two major aspects of P.A 92‑796 (HB 1436).

New requirements for the renewal of administrative certificates take effect beginning July 1, 2003. Individuals serving in positions that require administrative certification must prepare plans and submit them to reviewers or review panels, respectively, that are identified in the statute. Each administrator’s plan must include annual completion of a program offered by the Administrators’ Academy and one other professional activity per year of the certificate’s validity.

The legislation provides for congruence among the periods of validity of each individual’s administrative certificate and teaching certificate(s). Therefore, in 2003 some individuals will receive administrative certificates that have fewer than five years of validity, and the requirements for continuing professional development will be reduced accordingly during that first renewal cycle. The rules also describe several other circumstances in which reductions in the requirements will apply.

Requirements for the standard teaching certificate are presented in a series of new Sections describing six potential alternatives from which individuals may choose. (See Sections 25.900 through 25.945.)

The revisions to Sections 25.720 and 25.725 are technical in nature and are needed for further clarification of the applicability of testing requirements to certified individuals seeking additional certificates.

Affected Sections: 25.11, 25.35, 25.315, 25.720, 25.725, 25.900, 25.905, 25.910, 25.915, 25.920, 25.925, 25.930, 25.940, and 25.945

Effective Date:           April 28, 2003

Special Education (Part 226)

These amendments have three purposes:

·        They include a number of wording changes required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education
Programs (OSEP).

·        They include revisions to the rule on parental consent (Section 226.540) that respond both to OSEP and to recent litigation.

·        The amendments to Section 226.800 explain how the current system of issuing state approval for individuals to serve as directors of special education will be closed out in favor of a standards-based endorsement. These changes complement recent amendments to Part 29 (Standards for Administrative Certification).

Affected Sections: 226.75, 226.100, 226.240, 226.250, 226.350, 226.530, 226.540, 226.605, 226.610, 226.625, 226.690, 226.740, 226.770, and 226.800

Effective Date:           April 28, 2003

HIV Prevention in Schools: A Tool Kit for School Board Members

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have been working with education policymakers since 1987 to strengthen the role of schools in the prevention of HIV infections. Much progress has been made, but 25 percent of all new HIV infections still occur in the 13- to 21-year-old age group.

With that in mind NASBE and NSBA, in partnership with the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have developed a tool kit that state and local board of education members may use in their efforts to enhance the ability of schools to prevent the spread of HIV infection among young people. The kit contains a wide range of useful information for both educators and community members.

For further information on the kit or any questions about issues related to HIV/AIDS and the schools, contact Jim Bogden at NASBE (703/684-4000) or Brenda Z. Greene at NSBA (703/838-6756).

Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

 of Education