Sent: Friday, May 30, 2003 1:36 PM
To: 'Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents '
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 5-30-03

Good afternoon.

This week another major milestone in the budget process is nearing completion, and that is the leading item in this message. I know the outcome is very much on your minds, as it is on mine.

Also, I want to remind you that we have a portion of the on-line resources from Classroom Connect that provide professional development. Very few teachers have used these resources, and we encourage teachers to use them over the summer.

I will continue the regular Friday messages through June, take a break in July, and resume the regular schedule in early August. Should matters of importance arise in July, however, I will be communicating with you as needed.

House and Senate Consider Revenue Proposals

As of noon today, both houses of the General Assembly have convened and are expected to take up the revenue proposals that would provide funding for the spending plans the members approved last week. Although the initial appropriations bills have passed, the budget remains unresolved because the General Assembly has passed neither the budget implementation bill nor most of the revenue bills. Indeed, we may not know exactly what happens with the education budget until the Governor signs or vetoes the bills and the General Assembly reacts to any vetoes.

That said, the feeling around the Capitol is that the General Assembly will work late tonight, complete its work on the revenue measures and budget implementation bill no later than Saturday, and then adjourn.

Since last Friday when the education spending plan was approved, there has been considerable discussion regarding whether $100 million will be added to the education budget. The proposal is to fund special ed personnel and special ed transportation reimbursement at 100 per cent ($57 million) and to restore $43 million to the ADA Block Grant. The Governor took part in a news conference yesterday and supported the idea – if an appropriate way to fund the programs could be found. As of this writing, no such mechanism has been announced.

Monday, I will e-mail you summaries and analyses of the final budget and other legislative actions. I will also begin to communicate with you regarding changes that will be necessary at ISBE as a result of the cuts to our operations line in the proposed budget.


ISBE-Sponsored Professional Development – Activate Now!

Teachers can experience high-quality professional development this summer. Your district has access to Connected Illinois, a free, on-line professional development resource provided by ISBE exclusively for Illinois educators. The first course begins June 2, 2003, so teachers need to act now. They can activate today and have access to the

following three summer courses:

·        Exploring the Illinois Five Applications of Learning

·        Implementing the Illinois Five Applications of Learning

·        Teaching to Illinois Standards

To activate the program, teachers need to take the following steps:

1.      Get an activation number from their local district technology coordinator.

2.      Go to

3.      Click the "Activate" button.

4.      Enter their subscription activation number in the “Subscription Activation Number” box.

For assistance with activation, please contact Customer Service at 800/638-1639, Option 2, or e-mail

More information can be accessed at or by contacting Gwen “Penny” Kelly, ISBE e-Learning; Phone: 217/782‑5439; Fax: 217/785-7650; e-mail:



Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

   of Education