Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 5:08 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn - May 31, 2005 - Legislative Session Appears to be in Final Hours

Importance: High
Good afternoon.


I have just returned from the Statehouse and what we expect to be the final Committee hearings of this spring’s session of the Illinois’ 94th General Assembly. I gave testimony today to both the House Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee and a joint meeting of all the Senate Appropriation Committees. As the budget negotiations have progressed, the Governor and State Board have continued to fight for education funding increases for the third consecutive year. While the FY 2006 budget agreement is not yet final, it looks to be just hours away. At least, that is our collective hope here at the Agency.


While, along with you, I anxiously await the final budget agreement, I can share with you at this time some of the highlights of the commitment being made to Illinois Schools in the coming year—providing a net increase of more than $320 Million.


The State Board carefully looked throughout the state and worked hard to balance the priorities focusing on the greatest areas of need, while allocating resources that support all schools. If all holds today, highlights of the funding increases will include:

        $215.1 million in General State Aid/Hold Harmless funding, which will increase the Foundation level by $200, bringing the level of support to $5,164 per student;

        $25.4 million to Mandated Categoricals, including a $500,000 increase to fund the Childhood Hunger Relief Act (for additional breakfast meals served)—this will place the budgeted prorations slightly higher in FY06 than FY05;

        $30 million to Early Childhood Education again this year, fulfilling Governor Blagojevich’s three-year commitment to increase funding for ECE by $90 million over three years;

        $10 million in the ADA Block Grant and $4.1 million in Transitional Assistance funding;

        $12.2 million for a new grant program for after school initiatives, mentoring and student support to help students achieve academically;

        $4.1 million to fully fund all outstanding School Consolidation obligations and cover feasibility studies.


There are other increases beyond what I’ve listed here that will support a variety of other specific programs. If all goes as we hope today, and a budget gets finalized, we should have some district-specific information to share with you early next week.


I hope you all enjoyed a great Memorial Day weekend—and welcomed summer in your own grand way.



Randy Dunn



Also included in today’s message:

        Safe schools training

        Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act

         FY 2005 Transition Assistance

        Illinois State Teacher Certification Board

         Lightning Safety Awareness Week scheduled June 19 - 25, 2005.

        EPA invites applications for clean school bus grant program

        Weekly news clips


Safe schools training

This summer the Illinois State Board of Education will sponsor a series of regional training sessions for school districts as part of our Safe Schools Training Initiative. The trainings are designed to enhance school districts’ capacities to plan for and respond effectively to a wide range of emergencies that impact schools, staff, and students. One-day sessions are scheduled for “Forming Critical Incident Response Teams." Teams will be trained to implement district emergency operation plans and manage a crisis until responder agencies arrive.


Districts are encouraged to send teams of four to six staff members, including a School Resource Officer when available. The one-day, five hour sessions will run from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. with lunch provided. Educational staff members employed by a school district may receive a $100 stipend if training is conducted during non-contractual times and does not violate employee contractual stipulations. Sessions have been scheduled for the following dates and locations:

        Collinsville Holiday Inn - June 7, 2005

        Lisle-Naperville Hilton - June 14, 2005

        Moline Holiday Inn - June 16, 2005


A two-day, fifteen (15) hour Train-The-Trainer course on “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Illinois Schools” has been scheduled for August 2-3, 2005 at the Oak Lawn Hilton.


To register for these events, please contact Diane Taylor, ROE 12, Olney, at (618) 395-8626; or e-mail to:


Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act

The following information concerning the Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act (PA 93-0462, effective January 1, 2004) is being sent out to the Regional Offices of Education (ROEs) and school districts/local education agencies (LEAs) to disseminate to parents. To comply with the Act the Illinois State Board of Education must disseminate this information to the ROEs and LEAs for advising parents of these rights. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will also post the Act on its website.


Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act

Section 1

Short title. This Act may be cited as the Children's Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act.


Section 5. Definitions

As used in this Act:

            "Child" means a person under the age of 16. "Child” does not include a minor emancipated by operation of law.

            "Parent" means a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian.

            "Personal information" means any of the following:

             (1) A person's name.

             (2) A person's address.

             (3) A person's telephone number.

             (4) A person’s driver's license number or State of Illinois identification card as assigned by the Illinois Secretary of State or by a similar agency of  

                  another state.

             (5) A person's social security number.

             (6) Any other information that can be used to locate or contact a specific individual.

            "Personal information” does not include any of the following:

             (1) Public records as defined by Section 2 of the Freedom of Information Act.

             (2) Court records.

             (3) Information found in publicly available sources, including newspapers, magazines, and telephone directories.

             (4) Any other information that is not known to concern a child.


Section 10. Prohibited act.

The sale or purchase of personal information concerning an individual known to be a child without parental consent is prohibited.


Section 15 Information Brokers.

(a) For the purpose of this Act, the consent of a parent to the sale or purchase of information concerning a child is presumed unless the parent withdraws consent under this Section.


A person who brokers or facilitates the sale of personal information concerning children must, upon written request from a parent that specifically identifies the child, provide to the parent within 20 days of the written request procedures that the parent must follow in order to withdraw consent to use personal information relating to that child. The person who brokers or facilitates the sale of personal information must discontinue disclosing a child's personal information within 20 days after the parent has completed the procedures to withdraw consent to use personal information relating to that child.


(b) This Section does not apply to any of the following:

 (1) Any federal, state, or local government agency or any law enforcement agency.

 (2) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 (3) Any educational institution, consortium, organization, or professional association, including but not limited to, public community colleges, public universities, post-secondary educational institutions as defined in the Private College Act, and private business and vocational schools as defined in the Private Business and Vocational Schools Act.

 (4) Any not-for-profit entity that is exempt from the payment of federal taxes under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.


Section 20. Application of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

A violation of any provision of this Act is a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. This Act, however, shall not be considered or construed to provide any private right of action.


The above Act (PA 93-0462) can be referenced at :


ISBE Link:

Direct link:


FY 2005 Transition Assistance

The FY 2005 Transition Assistance payment has been calculated and vouchered. The voucher was dated May 25, 2005 and has been sent to the Office of the Comptroller for payment. School districts automatically qualify for the payment if their FY 2005 payments were less than their FY 2004 payments in specified programs. For FY 2005 these specified programs include: Special Education (excluding Orphanage), State Free Lunch/Breakfast Program, Transportation, Bilingual Education, Career & Technical Education, Reading Improvement Block Grant, Early Childhood, ADA Block Grant and Fast Growth Grant. Qualifying school districts and details of the FY 2005 calculations can be accessed at the following link


Questions regarding the calculations can be directed to Toni Waggoner at 217-785-8779


Illinois State Teacher Certification Board

The certification board will meet on June 2 and 3 in the Springfield Illinois State Board of Education office, 100 N. First Street, Springfield, IL   62777.


The agenda is as follows:


June 2, 2005 - 8:30 a.m.

1)      Review of Evidence Boxes

2)      STCB Audit Committee of the Whole

3)      Institutional Accreditations and Program Approvals

a.       Greenville College

b.       Illinois Wesleyan University

c.       Lake Forest College

d.       Lincoln Christian College

e.       Trinity Christian College

Lunch will be provided

f.        Continuation of program approvals

4)      New programs

a. Southern Illinois University Carbondale-English as a new language


June 3, 2005 - 9 a.m.

A.  Call to Order / Roll Call

B.   Approval of Minutes – May 6, 2005

C.   Public Participation

D.  Facilitation Committee’s Report

E.   Item(s) for Immediate Action

1.   Institutional Accreditation and Program Approval Recommendations

a.   Greenville College

b.   Illinois Wesleyan University

c.   Lake Forest College

d.   Lincoln Christian College

e.   Trinity Christian College

2.   New Program Recommendation

a.   Southern Illinois University Carbondale – English As A New Language

3.   Proposals for Activities that Meet Requirements for Standard Certificate Eligibility

4.   Renewal of Standard / Master Certificates (Group B List)

5.   Amendments to Rules for Certification (Various)

6.   Work Group Recommendations for Illinois HOUSSE

F.         Item(s) for Discussion

1.   State Teacher Certification Board Operating Procedures

G.         Item(s) for Information

1.   Renewal of Standard / Master Certificates (Report – Group A List)

H.        Secretary’s Report

I.          Adjournment


Lightning Safety Awareness Week scheduled June 19 - 25, 2005.

There are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year in the United States, nearly 650,000 of which occur in Illinois alone. Few people really understand the dangers of lightning. Many people don't act promptly to protect their lives, property, and the lives of others. The first step in solving this potentially life-threatening problem is though education.


The Lighting Safety Awareness Guide is available at

Information in this guide will educate yourself and others about the dangers of lighting.


EPA invites applications for clean school bus grant program

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its 2005 Clean School Bus Grant Program and is seeking applications for $7.5 million in grant funds.


Complete information can be found at


A copy of EPA's Request for Applications can be found at:


Grant applications will be accepted from U.S. public schools districts, including federally recognized tribal organizations that operate schools. Groups of school districts, such as School District Councils and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, are eligible.


The deadline for notifying EPA of your "Intent to Apply" is June 24, 2005. The due date for the complete application is July 22, 2005.


Weekly news clips

Last week’s education news clips may be viewed at: