Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 11:43 AM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy J. Dunn 1-31-05
January 31, 2005



Good morning,


This week, I would like to talk to you about three items, business-wise, regarding ISBE operations:


We are trying to determine how best to provide public access via real-time technology for the various meetings that we conduct (e.g., the State Board of Education, SBE Committees, and State Teacher Certification Board).  Our phone records report heavy use of the “listen only” phone line for meetings and we have heard from many people that this is their preferred method to access the meetings. We also currently offer a live Internet audio broadcast of Board meetings and some committee meetings. We’re trying to get a sense of the number of people who access meetings via these live audio Internet broadcasts. If you are a regular Internet listener, please send me an email so noting that fact.


Next, if you know of individuals who are trying to receive this weekly missive and have not been able to get it in the past, please pass the word to them that we will make arrangements to get them subscribed.  Prior to my starting last September, and even since then it seems, we’ve had some pretty heavy strictures precluding dissemination to anyone other than an Illinois principal or superintendent.  But from there, of course, it would then get forwarded to just about any educator in the state who had an email address!  And while we don’t want to start signing up every staff member in every school (though administrators can certainly forward this to staff)—it is the case that this bulletin should be going to Regional Offices, special education and vocational directors, teacher education administrators, and others.  You can help us by spreading the word in that regard. If you know of individuals who wish to receive this message electronically, please have them forward their email address to


OK, now it’s time for a bit of nagging—not unlike when the teacher talks to the whole class given the actions of a few. Please continue to do all you can to meet reporting deadlines for the various pieces of data and information we collect from you as schools and districts.  I know I said something about “meaningless bureaucratic timelines” in regard to our School Report Card corrections, but I do ask your assistance in doing all you can to fulfill the various deadlines we set out for you around things like the Teacher Service Record, Immunization Report, et al.  In many cases, ISBE has a statutory deadline to meet in issuing reports based on this data, and our failure to do so usually results in an audit finding for the Agency by the Auditor General.  As every Superintendent who has ever presented an audit report to a Board knows, it is always best to do everything possible to prevent such findings.  Any help you can give will be appreciated.


Finally, I look forward to being a guest of the Annual ED-RED Legislative Dinner tonight at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare.  One of the things I hope to do in the coming months is spend some more time in the greater Chicagoland area and suburbs than I have to date.  The districts in that area, which include some of the true educational “lighthouses” for Illinois, also are dealing with a unique set of challenges that I want to learn more about.




Randy Dunn

State Superintendent of Schools (Interim)



Also in today’s message:


Board announces changes to five districts’ AYP status

Following completion of an informal appeals process, ISBE has notified five Illinois districts of a change in their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status for 2002-2003 or 2003-2004.  As a part of the appeals process, these districts were found to have met all the assessment and accountability requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind law.


Districts to date determined to have made AYP following appeal include:

·         Community High School District #309 in East Peoria

·         West Community Unit School District 10 in Gilman

·         Ridgeland School District #122 in Oak Lawn

·         Iroquois West Community Unit School District 10

·         Dakota Community Unit School District #201


Eight school districts to receive consolidation incentive grants

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) processed payments last week to eight school districts for consolidation incentive grants totaling $1.98 million. The grants were made possible when Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 3362 into law, which included funding for the eight Illinois school districts.

In November of 2004, the Board announced plans to cut $2.6 million from the agency operational budget this fiscal year. From those agency savings, the General Assembly and Gov. Blagojevich reallocated $1.98 million to fund the school consolidation incentives.

Districts that will receive incentive payments as a result of SB3362 are: Prairie Central District 8, $598,125; Downers Grove District 58, $114,059; New Hope District 6, $9,869; Fairfield Public School District 112, $128,454; United District 304, $73,234; Sangamon Valley District 9, $173,640; Staunton District 6, $605,664; and El Paso-Gridley District 11, $272,982.

The districts should receive their funds by February 25.

Notice of completed rulemaking

Please be advised that a rulemaking item recently adopted by the State Board of Education is now in effect.  This updated set of rules has 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, please remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.


Part 25 (Certification)

This set of amendments arises almost entirely from enactment of P.A. 93-679, which was signed by the Governor on June 30, 2004, and took effect immediately.  That legislation made significant changes in the requirements for renewal of teaching and administrative certificates, teachers’ movement from the initial to the standard certificate, and certification testing for out-of-state applicants.  Many procedural requirements for certificate renewal have been eliminated, and additional activities have been identified as options for meeting the respective requirements.  One of these is to meet the requirements for being considered “highly qualified” for purposes of the No Child Left Behind Act in an additional teaching field, necessitating the addition of the Illinois criteria for this federal consideration into the State Board’s rules.


Refinements have also made in several other Sections of Part 25 to make the rules more workable or to correct oversights.


Affected Sections: 25.11, 25.100, 25.315, 25.335, 25.425, 25.450, 25.464, 25.720, 25.725, 25.800, 25.805, 25.810, 25.815, 25.820, 25.825, 25.830, 25.832, 25.835, 25.840, 25.845, 25.848, 25.850, 25.855, 25.860, 25.865, 25.872, 25.875, 25.880, 25.885, 25.900, 25.905, 25.910, 25.915, 25.920, 25.925, 25.930, 25.935, 25.942, 25.945, and 25 Appendix D.

Effective Date:  January 4, 2005


Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act

On July 2, 2003, the Illinois School Code was amended to require public schools that teach sex education to cover Illinois’ safe haven law, the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act (Public Act 92-0432). The law allows a desperate parent to relinquish an unharmed newborn three days old or younger to staff at any hospital, fire station, police station or emergency medical care facility. In return, the parent is assured anonymity and cannot be prosecuted for abandonment.


A parent may leave the newborn and walk away with no questions asked. A packet of information is available to them, but they are not required to accept it. This packet contains information about adoption, a medical history form that can be filled out and mailed in anonymously, written notice of the process to terminate parental rights, and a list of counselors.


Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 5/27-9.1(c) (9) now reads, “course material and instruction shall advise pupils of the provisions of the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act as well as provide information about responsible parenting and the availability of confidential adoption services.”


For more information or an order form for DCFS brochures and posters, call (312) 440-0229. English and Spanish versions also may be downloaded from:


Weekly newsclips

News clips may be accessed at: