Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 11:26 AM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 7-26-04
Good morning,


Due to some technical difficulties on Friday we were unable to send out the weekly message. Fortunately we have an FY05 budget to share with you today. The General Assembly approved the budget Saturday night.


We are still in the process of reviewing the numbers, but the following link will allow you to view the year-to-year comparison. As I suspected last week, there was a significant amount of money cut from assessment. The budget provides a $154 increase to General State Aid bringing up the foundation level to $4,964, which corresponds with the chart that we sent Thursday of last week The budget further includes $10 million for fast growth districts and $7.7 million in Transition assistance.


Funding for the Mandated Categorical Grant follows:


Early Childhood funding has increased by nearly $30 million, while money was cut from the Reading Improvement Block Grant, Extending Learning Opportunities, Technology for Success, Career and Technical Education Programs and several other areas.


There are two line-items that are cause for great concern. There is inadequate funding for Emergency Financial Assistance and Temporary Relocation, where we need an additional transfer of $1.3 million to sufficiently assist districts in need. Additionally, the budget includes only $1.67 million for District Consolidation, but our demands actually equal $4.2 million. School districts making claims under both of these areas could be adversely affected this coming school year.


We are still in the process of reviewing what this means for districts. But the above link does provide an overview. In the meantime I assure you that as we begin to get some clarification on what some of these budget increases and decreases mean we will keep you abreast of that information.


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education



Below you will find important information that should have been sent out Friday.


I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the 2004 Annual Superintendents Conference.  Plans for this event are well underway.  At the request of many who suggested returning to a statewide conference, ISBE will host the event at the Hilton Springfield Hotel.


Our theme this year is “The Big Picture: Education Prekindergarten through 20.” Attendees this year will have the opportunity to hear from nationally renowned speakers on a variety of topics covering education.  ISBE staff, award-winning school principals and external exhibitors will also be on hand to provide information throughout the conference.


For a downloadable flier and registration, please go to:


We look forward to hearing from you.


Included in today’s message:

·         The Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003

·         Waiver Procedure-Eligible Applicants

·         Supplemental Data for FY03/FY04 Federal Performance Reports

·         School Treasurer Bonds

·         News Clips


The Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003

Recognizing that “[c]hildren’s social development and emotional development are essential underpinnings to school readiness and academic success,” the Illinois legislature passed the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003.  This Act requires school districts to “develop a policy for incorporating social and emotional development into the district’s educational program.”  It also requires protocols for responding to children with social, emotional, or mental health problems that impact learning ability.  Each district must submit the policy to the ISBE by August 31, 2004.


The IASB sample policies and procedures were developed with insight from the School Policy and Standards Committee of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership.  The Partnership will continue to produce more information and material on this important subject. 

In an effort to help all Illinois school districts, the IASB is widely publishing its sample policies and procedures.  The material is designed to provide information only and is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney.  A description of the sample IASB material follows and additional information is located at


Policy 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development, is the key policy for district compliance with the Children’s Mental Health Act.  It requires that student social and emotional development be incorporated in the district’s educational program consistently with the social and emotional development standards contained in the Illinois Learning Standards.  ISBE has until December 31, 2004 to develop and implement a plan to incorporate social and emotional development standards into the Illinois Learning standards.


Policy 7:250, Student Support Services, was amended to direct the superintendent to develop protocols for responding to students with social, emotional, or mental health problems that impact learning ability.


Administrative Procedure 7:250-AP2, Protocol for Responding to Students with Social, Emotional, or Mental Health Problems, was added.  Staff members are directed to refer a student suspected of having social, emotional, or mental health problems to the building-level Student Support Committee that is annually appointed by the building principal.  The committee reviews information about a referred student, including prior interventions, and suggests appropriate steps for referral and follow-up.


Waiver procedure – eligible applicants

Public Act 93-0707, effective July 9, 2004, expands the pool of applicants eligible to apply for waivers or modifications of School Code mandates or State Board of Education rules to include regional superintendents of schools and joint agreements.


Eligible applicants are:


The full text of P.A. 93-0707 is available at:


Public notice requirements:

Please note the following public notice requirements from P.A. 93-0707 and Section 2-3.25g of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/2-3.25g):


Public hearing on application for waiver or modification:  A public hearing must be held by ALL applicants.  For applicants with governing boards (including school districts, joint agreements, and ISCs), the date identified for the public hearing must be a day other than the day on which a regular board meeting is held. 


Required notices of public hearing:  ALL applicants must provide the following notices to inform the public and others of the hearing date.  Each notice must state the time, date, location and general subject matter of the hearing.



Please note that all other public notice requirements and deadlines for the waiver process remain unchanged by the passage of this new Act.  They are still in effect and must be followed whenever an eligible applicant submits an application for a waiver or modification of law and rules.


As a reminder, the next deadline for submission of a waiver of a School Code mandate is postmarked by Friday, August 13, 2004, for inclusion in the October 2004 report to the General Assembly and action during Fall Veto Session.  Applications to waive ISBE rules, or to modify a School Code mandate or ISBE rules, can be submitted at any time, so long as the applicant allows the 45 days allotted by law for the State Board to act on the request.


Additional information on the waiver/modification process is available on the State Board’s website at  If you have any questions, please call Winnie Tuthill or Shelley Helton at (217) 782-5270.


Supplemental Data for FY03/FY04 Federal Performance Reports

The one time only data collection form ‘Supplemental Data for FY03 / FY04 Federal Performance Reports’ is ready in IWAS for the district superintendents to use in submitting   information.  In the spring of 2004, the U.S. Department of Education required the state and local districts to submit supplemental data on drug, alcohol, weapons and violence related suspension and expulsion.  Please provide the district level information, and submit it to the Illinois State Board of Education by September 15, 004.


Please call the ISBE Helpdesk at 217/558-3600 if you have questions regarding the submission of the Supplemental Data for FY03 / FY04 Federal Performance Reports through IWAS.


School Treasurer Bonds

Section 3-8 and Section 8-2 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/3-8 and 105 ILCS 5/8-2) require Regional Superintendents of Schools to file an affidavit with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) showing which treasurers of school districts in their region are properly bonded.  This affidavit must be filed by September 1 of each year.  Copies of the actual school treasurer bond do not have to be filed with ISBE.


Section 8-2 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/8-2) requires each treasurer of a school district to be properly bonded.  The penalty of the bond shall be 25% of the amount of all bonds, notes, mortgages, moneys and effects of which the treasurer is to have custody.  The bond shall be increased or decreased from time to time, as the increase or decrease of the amount of notes, bonds, mortgages, moneys and effects may require.  The bond shall be payable to the township trustees of schools over the district or payable to the school board of the district, whichever is applicable.  The bond shall be filed with the Regional Superintendent of Schools.


Section 3-8 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/3-8) describes the duties of the Regional Superintendent of Schools upon receipt of the treasurer bonds.  When the bond of any school treasurer is filed with the Regional Superintendent of Schools, the Regional Superintendent shall carefully examine it.  If the bond is found to be in all respects according to law and the sureties sufficient, the Regional Superintendent shall endorse his/her approval and file it with the papers of his/her office.  If the bond is in any respect defective, or if the sureties are insufficient, the bond shall be returned for correction.


Electronic version of the Affidavit, and other information, can be found on the ISBE website at:\sfms\html\t_bonds.htm


If you have questions, please contact Michelle Heninger at 217.785.8779 or e-mail her at


News Clips