Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 3:49 PM
To: Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 6-27-03

Good afternoon.

We will discontinue the regular weekly message during July. If a matter of urgency arises, I will communicate with you on an ad hoc basis. This message contains the following items:

·           An update on the status of the state’s education budget.

·           Information about a memorandum that clarifies Child Find roles and responsibilities.

·           Information about procedures governing the creation of tax-exempt foundations for the use and benefit of schools (a memorandum from our general counsel is appended to this message).

Finally, this week we once again have included the agenda and dates for the Superintendents’ Conferences and the New Superintendents’ Conference, which will be held in the fall. More detailed information will be sent to you in July.

Budget Update

As of this writing, the Governor has not taken any action on the education budget bill, which was sent to him last Friday by the General Assembly. He has 60 days from June 20 in which to take action. The Governor has, however, signed an implementation bill that confirms that the GSA foundation level for FY04 will be $4,810 (an increase of $250 per student) and confirms that from now on, the poverty count will be calculated using the numbers of the Illinois Department of Human Services instead of the federal census.

Interagency Agreement Regarding Child Find

A memorandum that reviews the responsibilities of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the State Board of Education with respect to an interagency agreement that the two agencies signed in December 2001 is posted at

In December 2001, DHS and the State Board signed an Interagency Agreement addressing Child Find collaboration required by regulations (34 CFR Part 300.123) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of DHS, the State Board, local education agencies, and Child and Family Connections offices with respect to Child Find and the transition of children who are turning three years old and moving from IDEA Part C to Part B services.

Procedures Governing the Creation of Tax-Exempt Foundations

Appended to this message is a memorandum from ISBE’s general counsel, Respicio F. Vazquez. The memorandum explains procedures set forth in the Illinois School Code governing the creation of tax-exempt foundations that are qualified to receive gifts, donations, bequests and other contributions for the use and benefit of school districts. The memorandum addresses requirements of both the federal Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

   of Education






DATE:            June 23, 2003

TO:                 Regional Superintendents of Schools

                        Boards of Education    

                        School District Superintendents

FROM:           Respicio F. Vazquez

                        General Counsel, State Board of Education

SUBJECT:   Procedures Governing the Creation of Tax Exempt Foundations

Article 2 of the 2002 Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/2-3.74, requires the State Board of Education to disseminate to all school boards and superintendents of schools information concerning the procedures governing the creation of tax exempt foundations qualified to receive gifts, donations, bequests and other contributions for the use and benefit of school districts of the state.

A primary purpose for creating a tax exempt foundation is to solicit contributions from individuals or corporations, with the intent of applying funds raised toward supplementing the educational programs of a district. The advantages are that the person(s) contributing may treat the contribution to the foundation as a tax deductible charitable donation and that no federal or state income tax is paid on the part of the foundation. To achieve this status, however, both the Federal Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue must be contacted for the acquisition and submission of the necessary forms.

The following information is offered in keeping with the intent of the law; however, it is not intended to be a substitute for seeking advice from an attorney, accountant or other qualified person knowledgeable in these complicated procedures.

Internal Revenue Service

Federal Internal Revenue Service requirements, tax information and materials for charitable organizations are available at 800/829-1040 or on-line: Links from the site are as follows:

      Exemption Requirements – A brief description of the requirements for exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

      Application for Recognition of Exemption – Procedures for applying for exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

      Filing Requirements – A brief description of the annual filing requirements for tax-exempt organizations.

      Private Foundations – A brief explanation of the rules for classifying charitable organizations as private foundations, and the effect of private foundation status.

      Unrelated Business Income Tax, General Rules – A general description of the unrelated business income tax requirements for tax-exempt organizations.

      Contributions – A brief description of the disclosure and substantiation requirements for contributions to charitable organizations.

Illinois Department of Revenue

Questions and requests for information, materials and assistance for exempt organizations defined by 35 ILCS 5/205 is available at:, or contact

            The Secretary of State

Business Services Department

101 West Jefferson Street

Springfield, IL. 62702

800/732-8866 –

Superintendents’ Regional Conferences
September 2003

The State Superintendents’ Conference this year will be offered at six regional meetings.

Dates and Locations:

September 3                    Champaign

September 4                    Matteson

September 9                    Galesburg

September 15                  Mt. Vernon

September 22                  Naperville

September 23                  Lincolnshire

District superintendents, regional superintendents, association leaders, and others will receive a mailing in July with specific registration and conference site information.


Proposed Conference Agenda for Superintendents’ Regional Conferences

September 2003

8:30–9:00 a.m. Registration/Refreshments

9:00–10:15 a.m.           Breakout Session I (see descriptions below)

10:15–10:30 a.m.         Break

10:30–11:45 a.m.         Breakout Session II (see descriptions below)

Five breakout sessions: participants may attend 2 of the 5:

Accountability: Keeping Our Heads While Those About Us Are Losing Theirs

Learn the facts and fallacies about the newly adopted legislation for testing and accountability that aligns Illinois law with No Child Left Behind; walk through how adequate yearly progress (AYP) is determined and how to project progress for your schools; view the new e-Report Cards and the Illinois Interactive Report Card Web site; review the new “assessment frameworks” that will guide test development for the next five years.

Offered in breakout sessions I & II

School Improvement: Using What We Know to Improve Performance

Focus on four components of school improvement, highlighting strategies that really work: data analysis that drives targeted improvement plans; classroom curriculum, instruction and assessment aligned with the Learning Standards; teacher and administrator enhancement; and support services for students, families and communities.

Offered in breakout sessions I & II

Finance and Funding: Gearing Up for the Real Reform We Need

Understand the new state financial profiles—what they are and are not; preview proposed legislation to assist districts in significant financial difficulty; review the status of the state education budget; discuss “life after EFAB,” potential funding recommendations and next steps; review options for legislative and public support strategies.

Offered in breakout sessions I & II

P-Card: Adding Efficiency and Accountability to the Purchasing Process

With the Procurement Card, school leaders are able to increase the efficiency of the purchasing process while improving on accountability. This session will explain in detail the new P-Card program, provided through the sponsorship of the IASA/IASB/IASBO, which has a proven record of streamlining the P.O. process, saving time and money while improving control over expenditures.

Offered in Breakout Session I

Financial Projections: Looking Five Years Out

A critical part of local school management is making timely and accurate financial projections. The ISDLAF+ sponsored by the IASA/IASB/IASBO has a relationship with PMA for fund management and advisement. A new PMA service allows for such projections. This session will provide you with a close look at the system.

Offered in breakout session II  

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch

12:30–1:00 p.m.           Introductions and Keynote Address by Dr. Robert E. Schiller, State Superintendent of Education

1:00–2:00 p.m.             Open Q&A Session with the State Superintendent and Cabinet-Level ISBE Staff.

New Superintendents’ Meeting

The annual New Superintendents’ Meeting, cosponsored by the IASA and ISBE, will be held at the State Board office in Springfield on September 30–October 1, 2003. A separate mailing to new district superintendents will provide details of the meeting schedule.