Sent: Friday, May 07, 2004 4:08 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 5-7-04
It was busy week in
I am sure that every single one of you has had a beef
or knows someone who has had one with the certification process in
On Tuesday, the House Secondary and Elementary Committee took testimony on Senate Bill 3001. The legislation would transfer the school construction program over to the Capital Development Board. Everyone appeared to agree that the school construction program is a great program, but many people opposed the transfer to CDB and the creation of another layer of bureaucracy. The legislation would create new priorities for the program, including mixed use facilities, and also would allow the CDB to control the construction, engineering, surveying of projects. While not specifically included in the bill ISBE believes that CDB is proposing to nullify all school construction applications submitted since FY 2002 and Capital Development Board testified to that effect. While ISBE supports the $2.2 billion in school construction bonding, ISBE opposed the remainder of the bill because we do not think that CDB should control locally raised funds. For audio of this hearing can be found at http://video.isbe.net/ramgen/testimony/testimony_05-04-04.rm
On Wednesday, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Chairman Calvin Giles of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee held a hearing on the constitutionality of the Governor’s Education Plan. Two delegates from the 1970 constitutional convention appeared and testified that they believed that the Governor’s plan was wrong and contradicted the intent of the people to keep education free from direct control by the Governor. Later in the day the Speaker issued a statement that he agreed with the delegates and offered a compromise, which does not create a new Department of Education and keeps the State Board intact, while offering the Governor unprecedented control through a majority of appointments at the beginning of his term as well as limiting the term of the CSEO to no longer than the term of the Governor. Audio of this hearing can be found at http://video.isbe.net/ramgen/testimony/testimony_05-05-04.rm
On Thursday the House Republicans offered an alternative to the Governor’s plan and we could see another plan offered by Senator Miguel DelValle as early as next week.
Aside from the administration of education in
Included in today’s message:
Certification Funds Restored
The Illinois State Board of Education today had praise for Governor Rod Blagojevich for restoring $1.2 million to the area of Teacher Certification, giving ISBE the authority to rehire personnel critical to support teachers awaiting issuance of certificates.
Governor Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 1271 Friday, part of which included a request by the General Assembly, brought forth by Senate President Emil Jones and House Speaker Michael Madigan to re-appropriate $1.2 million from the Teacher Certification Revolving Fund. For more on the press release please go to:
Budget/Joint Agreement Budget Forms
For Fiscal Year 2005, ISBE is providing the
Select Budget Form for FY05 (
If you have any questions or need assistance in requesting/completing any of these documents, please contact the School Business and Support Services Division at 217/785-8779.
The Senate and House hearings on the Spring 2004 Waiver Report will both be held this Wednesday, May 12. Should you wish to attend these hearings, the time, date and location of each hearing are as follows:
· The Senate hearing on waivers has been scheduled for May 12 at in Room 212 at the Capitol.
· The House hearing on waivers has been scheduled for May 12 at in Room 118 at the Capitol.
The following education related bills were passed out of the opposite chamber last week and will be forwarded to the Governor:
creates a K-3 class size reduction grant program to be implemented and administered by the State Board of Education, subject to appropriation, for only those schools that are on the early academic warning list or academic watch list. The grants would be used help defray costs related to keeping class size under 20 students.
provides that if, at the time of enrollment,
dependents of United States military personnel are housed in temporary housing
located outside of a school district, but will be living within that school
district within 60 days after the time of initial enrollment, the dependents
shall be enrolled upon a sufficient showing of proof, and shall not be charged
non-resident tuition. It also provides that non-resident dependents of
Department of Special Education Parent/Guardian Survey
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is pleased to announce the development and dissemination of the first statewide data collection effort to assess parent involvement in the education of students with disabilities. The Parent/Guardian Survey (ISBE form 34-68) can be completed online at and is available in English and Spanish. The survey is being disseminated to parent leaders, directors of special education, superintendents and others in an effort to outreach to families across the State. Printed copies are available for families who do not have access to the web.
The purpose of this survey is to collect information from parents and guardians of students with disabilities in order to measure their participation, involvement, satisfaction, knowledge and awareness of the special education services delivery system. Survey data for this year will be collected from May 6, 2004 through August 1, 2004 and every two years thereafter. By collecting data over time, ISBE will create a solid foundation of information for improving policy and programs for students with disabilities.
In 2002, ISBE finalized the Illinois Continuous Improvement Plan (ICIP). The ICIP is a critical component of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process. Annual receipt of grant funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is dependent upon compliance with the requirements covered by the federal monitoring process. The ICIP includes a goal to increase the meaningful, effective involvement of families in the educational process of children with disabilities as measured by analyses of survey data and progress from baselines. Stakeholders identified the development and implementation of a survey instrument as a priority activity. Based on that priority, ISBE developed the Parent/Guardian Survey (ISBE form 34-68), incorporating questions from two national studies, the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2).
The Parent/Guardian Survey results will be used as data for future planning to inform decision-making and to improve practice. In addition, the results of the survey will be widely disseminated across the State and reported to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the annual update of the ICIP activities.
E-Grants Approval Groups Setup
By the close of business Friday, May 7, 2004, ISBE will add a new system in
IWAS under the “Grants” category named “NCLB Consolidated
Application” for which staff in your local education agency can request
sign-up authorization. This will
allow each staff person to be approved into their appropriate IWAS approval
roles prior to the release of the new Electronic Grant Management System (e-GMS).
The NCLB Consolidated Application
will be available through the e-GMS very soon as final testing is being completed.
Local IWAS Administrators (primarily
district superintendents) will have automatic approval access to this system.
If other staff already have an
IWAS account, they can sign up for the new system by logging into IWAS from
the ISBE homepage, clicking on “System Listing” and then at the
bottom of that page, click on “Want to Signup for Other Systems?”
link. The “NCLB Consolidated
Application” will be available in the “Other Systems” list
under the category of “Grants.”
To sign up for the system, they can click on the “Sign Up
Now” button and follow the instructions.
If you have questions regarding IWAS approval setup, please contact
OTIS, Highly-Qualified, and Other Certification Matters
The State Board is creating a data base that will eventually show, on OTIS, the areas for which each teacher is highly qualified. Within the next two weeks, we will provide you with additional information about this initiative. Shortly thereafter, we plan to send each teacher a letter regarding how they can submit relevant information to the State Board. That letter will also include other critical information about changes to the certification rules (already adopted by the Board and now under review JCAR) and potential changes to the requirements for moving from Initial-to-Standard certification and certificate renewal, which are under consideration in the General Assembly.
You can help by encouraging your teachers to immediately establish a personal account on OTIS, the Online Teacher Information System. The instructions for doing this are at www.isbe.net/otis; the procedures are very easy and without cost. Once the teacher has an account, he or she will be able to view the information we have about his or her credentials and, with the creation of the proposed system, we will be able to work together to fill in the information gaps. The teacher will also be able to correct any personal information, such as his or her current mailing address; this is a critical step to assuring that each teacher receives the information letter about new requirements.
Watch for additional information in future messages, but please urge your teachers to “Go OTIS!” as soon as possible.
Bridges Extended Learning Opportunities
The Bridges Extended Learning Opportunities program, formerly known as Summer Bridges, is a cooperative effort of the Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Board of Education. This program offers students who are performing below standards in reading an extended learning experience. In anticipation of a favorable outcome from the legislature, we want potential participants to submit their plans to this office by May 17, 2004. Eligible districts have already been notified. For additional information please visit .
FOCUS 2004: Beyond Education & Training…Leading Economic Growth
The 2nd Annual National Conference to focus on application of Skill Standards and Industry-based style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">Certifications Set for Fall of 2004.
The State of