Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 2:09 PM
Subject: Weekly message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn - August 15, 2005
Good afternoon.


I don’t really have a “big topic” that I want to feature in today’s opener, so instead I’ll cover a number of shorter (but not unimportant) items:


·         I want to thank everyone who has taken time to call or send an email given the removal of my “interim” title. I very much appreciate the confidence the State Board of Education and Governor have expressed by this extension of my contract as State Superintendent through February 1, 2007—and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you over the coming period. I am proud of what this Agency and its employees have accomplished over the past 11 months and I will strive for even more effective educational and organizational performance from ISBE during my time here. I continue to value your good wishes and offers of assistance.


·         The State Board will be conducting its annual work session and retreat later this week—at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois. During last week’s one-day meeting here in Springfield, the Board continued to review and revise the ISBE Strategic Plan, analyzing the comments and ideas from the nine forums held around the state this summer and providing direction for improvements and added clarity to the Plan. They will continue this work at Grafton and also determine their broad policy agenda for the upcoming year. As I’ve recently mentioned, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many of my fellow state chiefs across the country this past month. Of course, we talk about our Boards (for those chiefs who have them)—as do local district superintendents, college and university presidents and just about every other CEO I’ve met. I always indicate that Illinois is indeed fortunate to have a group of smart people of a good and agreeable nature who know the work of education as it exists in every place and at every level across this state.


·         It’s State Fair week and that always creates a buzz and excitement here in Springfield. Actually, it kind of dominates everything that goes on over the course of the week in town. ISBE had the opportunity again this year to have an exhibit in the Governor’s Tent—“Mr. Lincoln’s Preschool Days.” I haven’t seen it yet (but am going out tomorrow—and will visit the corn dog stand too), but I hear it is a hit with everyone who views it. (The Lincoln impersonator who roams the fairgrounds has also been stopping by frequently to add to the aura, I’m told…) This feature has been a tremendous effort on the part of many people here at the State Board who have given much time and talent to make it happen—but I want to especially thank Kay Henderson, Division Administrator and Shelby King, Principal Consultant from our Early Childhood Division. If you make a trip to the fair, make sure to stop in and say hello.


·         Finally…we have had success getting our Illinois School Purchasing Network up and running because of considerable support received from many of you in the local districts. It’s my pleasure to announce that we now have a staff person responsible for working with the ISPN—her name is Karen Helland and she will do a great job in promoting and implementing the program for us. I make mention of this because Karen wants to get out and around the state as soon as possible to present the benefits of the Network and help districts take advantage of the savings it will provide.


Have a great week. As more and more of you open for the 2005-06 academic year, keep a special eye out for your kids and help them stay safe.


Randy Dunn



Also in today’s message:

·        FY06 special education “extraordinary” district allocations

·        Illinois Alternate Assessment updates

·        Legislative changes affecting the waiver process

·        Interim guidance for special education services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities

·        Notice of completed rulemaking

·        Identifying English language learners

·        Legislative update

·        State Farm Good Neighbor Service Learning Award

·        Technology grants available for rural schools

·        Healthy Schools Campaign focuses on use of “green” products and processes

·        Best Buy education technology grants

·        Barnes & Noble local, regional and national sponsorships

·        Revised grant guidelines for Starbucks Foundation

·        Weekly news clips





FY 06 Special education “extraordinary” district allocations

The FY 06 special education Funding for Children Requiring Special Education Services authorized under Section 14-7.02b of the School Code has been calculated for all school districts. This funding was formerly known as Special Education Extraordinary until P.A. 93-1022 (HB 4225) was enacted in August 2004. The district allocations can be accessed at Payments will be made to districts on a quarterly basis on or before September 30, December 30, March 30 and June 20 per statute.


If you have questions about these calculations, please contact ISBE’s Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256.




Illinois Alternate Assessment Updates

Fall workshops for educators administering the Illinois Alternate Assessment (IAA) begin August 30. To view the workshop schedule and register for a session, go to Registration is available online August 1 through 26, 2005.

·         New Participation Guidelines for educators determining whether a student should participate in the IAA are available on the ISBE website at:

·         IAA or ISAT decision. Beginning with the 2005-06 school year, participation in the IAA for students in grades 3-8 can no longer be divided by content area between the IAA and ISAT assessments. For example, in the past a student could take the IAA for reading and the ISAT for mathematics. With this change, students will participate in ONE assessment only—either the regular state assessment (ISAT at grades 3-8, PSAE at grade 11) or the IAA for all tested subjects at their grade. This is a change for elementary/middle school students but has always been the case for high school students. IEP teams remain responsible for making the decision about whether students with significant cognitive disabilities take the regular state assessment for their grade, with or without accommodations or the IAA instead.

For questions on the IAA, contact Marilyn Leveque at or 217-782-4823.




Legislative changes affecting the waiver process

Please share all of the following information with any staff who process waivers and modifications.


A.     Deadline for Spring Waiver Report

      Public Act 94-198, effective January 1, 2006, moves up the spring deadline for submission of requests for waivers of School Code mandates for the General Assembly’s consideration from May 1 to March 1. (See Applications for waivers of School Code mandates to be considered by the General Assembly during the spring 2006 session must be sent to the State Board postmarked by January 13, 2006.


      The new law did not change the fall deadline for submission of waiver requests to the General Assembly. The fall deadline remains October 1, 2006 and any request for a waiver of a School Code mandate for consideration during Fall Veto Session 2006 must be sent to the State Board postmarked by August 11, 2006.


      If you are applying for a modification of School Code mandates (legal school holidays are the most common example) or a waiver or a modification of administrative rules, there is no postmark deadline; however, approval must be granted before an approved request can be implemented. Applicants are encouraged to submit those that address calendar issues to the State Board before the calendars affected by the requests are submitted to the regional offices of education for approval. Please note that under the provisions of Public Act 93-1036, a district or other eligible applicant that is granted a calendar modification that affects its approved calendar must submit an amended calendar for approval to its regional office of education before the modification can be implemented.


B.     Block Scheduling of Physical Education

      Public Act 94-198 also amends Section 27-6 of the School Code, adding an exception to the daily physical education requirement for school districts implementing block schedules. (See link to Public Act 94-198 above.) Due to this change, districts will no longer need to apply for or renew a modification of Section 27-6 in order to offer physical education to their students on a block schedule.


C.     Time Adjustments for the Administration of the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE)

      Public Act 94-438, effective August 4, 2005, allows districts to modify the length of the school day for some or all of their students in order to accommodate PSAE testing procedures without going through the waiver process, provided sufficient time is banked in advance. (See


Waivers – General information

Applicants eligible to apply for waivers and modifications are:

·        school districts;

·        independent authorities established pursuant to Section 2-3.25f of the School Code;

·        joint agreements made up of school districts (i.e., special or vocational education cooperatives);

·        Regional Superintendents of Schools applying on behalf of schools and programs operated by them; and

·        Intermediate Service Centers (ISCs) applying on behalf of alternative schools established pursuant to Article 13A of the School Code.


Since August 2003, the waiver law has required an applicant with a governing board (i.e., school district, joint agreement or ISC) to hold the public hearing on a day other than the day of a regular board meeting. All applicants must provide written notification about the hearing to their state legislators as well as to their affected exclusive collective bargaining agent(s) and must publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation.


Please note that the public hearing held to consider waiver and modification applications must conform to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1).


The documents on the ‘Waivers’ portion of the State Board’s website will help you and your staff prepare your waiver or modification request. If you have questions, please contact the Rules and Waivers Division by phone at 217-782-5270 or by email at




Interim guidance for special education services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities

The new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) made some significant changes to requirements for the provision of special education and related services to parentally placed private school children with disabilities. Generally, each local educational agency (LEA) must conduct child find, determine the proportionate share of Federal Part B funds and provide equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities who attend private schools located in the LEA without regard to where the children reside. These changes became effective on July 1, 2005. This memorandum, though, offers interim guidance for the 2005-2006 school year only.


Section 612(a)(10) of the IDEA 2004 addresses “Children in Private Schools.” Below, we have broken down this Section by subject matter area and include our comments of clarification and guidance with respect to each such area.



Due to ongoing discussions with various stakeholders to whom this guidance memo is addressed, we offer some preliminary definitions of certain key terms to clarify the responsibilities and duties described below:


1)      Private School:

The term “private school” shall be defined as it is described in Section 612(a)(10)(A)(ii)(I) of IDEA 2004. Specifically, this refers to privately operated elementary and secondary schools only. Please note that we do not interpret this term to include those private facilities which do not provide an elementary or secondary school curriculum (i.e., those facilities that do not offer instruction leading to the grant of a state-recognized elementary or secondary school diploma).


2)      Child Find:

The term “Child Find” is given the definition provided in Section 612(a)(3) of IDEA 2004. Child Find, as set forth in IDEA 2004, is directed to those activities to ensure that children with disabilities “are identified, located and evaluated and a practical method is developed and implemented to determine which children with disabilities are currently receiving needed special education and related services.”


NOTE: As described above, the obligations outlined in this memorandum pertain only to private school students who are in kindergarten through 12th grade. Notwithstanding these definitions, local school districts shall continue in their obligation to conduct Child Find for students aged 3-5 (except for those attending private kindergarten programs) in the time and manner required prior to the passage of IDEA 2004.


3)      District of Residence:

The district wherein the parentally-placed private school child with a disability resides (with residency being determined in accordance with Illinois law).


4)      Serving District:

The district wherein the private elementary or secondary school is located and where the child at issue attends.



Proportionate Share




Sec. 612(a)(10)(A)(i) In General.—

To the extent consistent with the number and location of children with disabilities in the State who are enrolled by their parents in private elementary schools and secondary schools in the school district served by a local educational agency, provision is made for the participation of those children in the program by providing for such children special education and related services in accordance with the following requirements:

(I)          amounts to be expended for the provision of those services (including direct services to parentally placed private school children) by the local educational agency shall be equal to a proportionate amount of Federal funds made available under this part.

(II)       In calculating the proportionate amount of Federal funds the local educational agency, after timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of private schools as described in (iii) shall conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally placed children with disabilities attending private school located in the educational agency.

(III)    Such services to parentally placed private school children may be provided to the children on the premises of private, including religious, schools, to the extent consistent with law.

(IV)     State and local funds may supplement and in no case shall supplant the proportionate amount of federal funds required to be expended under this subparagraph.

(V)        Each local agency shall maintain in its records and provide to the State educational agency the number of children determined to be children with disabilities under this paragraph and the number of children served under this paragraph.


For the 2005-2006 school year only, the U.S. Department of Education is allowing States and LEAs to use the “best available data” to calculate the proportionate amount of their IDEA Part B funds that must be expended on services for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities attending private schools located within their jurisdiction, rather than requiring new child counts.


Since FY00 in Illinois, the allocation calculations for IDEA Flow Through are determined from three data elements: (a) base year, (b) total public and non-public enrollment and (c) poverty. At issue in this situation is how the public and non-public enrollments are taken into consideration when the IDEA calculations are determined. The public enrollment is taken from the most recent fall housing report and the non-public enrollment is taken from data voluntarily provided by each non-public school as reported on the Non-Public Registration Enrollment and Staff Report (ISBE 87-01). Beginning with the 2005-06 school year, this information will be entered electronically via the Illinois State Board of Education Web Application Security System (IWAS). The non-public enrollment figure does not take into account where parents reside – only the actual enrollment of a non-public school.


Local districts are reminded of their responsibility for maintenance of fiscal effort. State and local funds may not be used to supplant the proportionate amount of federal funds required to be expended.


Private schools are highly encouraged to register with the Illinois State Board of Education for inclusion of their student enrollment in the allocation calculations.


Non-Public proportionate share calculation

Beginning with FY 2006 IDEA Part B Flow Through and Preschool allocations and thereafter, the Illinois State Board of Education will calculate the non-public proportionate share amount to all school districts and cooperatives. The amount will be calculated based on the percentage of all non-public school children with disabilities ages 3 – 21 (Fund Codes K and L on the Funding and Child Tracking System) divided into the total special education child count taken on December 1 and multiplied by the total IDEA Part B Flow and Preschool Grant for each district.


For FY 2006, we will use special education data from the December 1, 2004 child count. However, since this file will not be verified and closed until September 2005, districts will not be penalized for holding “timely and meaningful consultations” with the private schools without a specific discussion of the proportionate share allocated to the district (see below, “TIMELY AND MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION”). In late February or early March of 2006, we will provide estimated FY 07 non-public proportionate share information at the same time we distribute estimated IDEA Part B Flow Through funding. When the final IDEA Part B Flow Through and Preschool Grant Awards are received in July 2006, we will provide final IDEA allocations and non-public proportionate share amounts to all school districts and cooperatives.


Child Find

Sec 612(A)(10)(ii) Child Find Requirement.—

(I)          in general.—the requirements of Child Find shall apply with respect to children with disabilities who are enrolled in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools.

(II)       Equitable participation.—the child find process shall be designed to ensure the equitable participation of parentally placed private school children with disabilities and an accurate count of such children.

(III)    Activities.—in carrying out this clause, the local educational agency or where applicable, the State educational agency, shall undertake activities similar to those activities undertaken for the agency’s public school children.

(IV)     Cost--The cost of carrying out this clause, including individual evaluations, may not be considered in determining whether a local educational agency has met its obligations under clause (i).

(V)        Completion period -- Such child find process shall be completed in a time period comparable to that for other students attending public schools in the local educational agency.


Notwithstanding the flexibility offered by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the calculation of “proportionate share,” local school districts must, in conjunction with timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of private schools (discussed further below), conduct child find activities so that students who are parentally placed in private schools can be referred, evaluated and identified as students with disabilities. Private schools must be provided with the necessary information on how parents and school officials may initiate the process of referring students for screening and other evaluations as appropriate. Therefore, local school districts will be expected to provide notice of child find activities to private schools within their respective jurisdiction in a manner and at a time similar to the notice the local districts provide to the general public. Child find activities must be conducted in a timely manner and any evaluations completed in response to the child find activities must meet the state required timeline for completing such evaluations (60 school days). Costs of conducting child find activities for students attending private schools are not included in determining expenditures for the proportionate share obligation.


The new provisions in IDEA 2004, unlike prior revisions of the act, create an obligation for local school districts to conduct Child Find for each student attending private elementary and secondary schools within the district, regardless of the students’ residency within the district. This, of course, runs contrary to existing state provisions which premise such duties solely on the residency of the students. Therefore, in an effort to comply with the requirements of IDEA 2004 and our existing state provisions, we are recommending that Child Find be undertaken in the following manner for the 2005-06 school year only (In FY 07, all aspects of Child Find will be the responsibility of the serving district (as opposed to FY 06 during which, as set forth below, evaluations are to be performed by the district of residence)):


1)      Each local school district shall be expected to conduct those activities necessary to identify those students who may require an initial case study evaluation for all students who attend private schools within the boundaries of the local school district.


2)      Where the serving district identifies a student who requires a referral for an initial case study evaluation, the student shall be evaluated by the district of residence. In the event the student is a resident of a district other than the serving district, the serving district shall promptly make a referral for an initial case study evaluation to the district of residence. The serving district shall be expected to forward any additional information, if known, on the student to the district of residence.


3)      The district of residence shall be expected to conduct all required procedures associated with the initial case study evaluation. The district of residence shall be expected to complete the evaluation within timelines prescribed by our current Illinois Administrative Code provisions pertaining to case study evaluations. Obtaining written parental consent for the evaluation shall be the primary responsibility of the evaluating district.


4)      Upon completion of the evaluation, the district of residence shall be responsible for convening an eligibility conference to determine the student’s eligibility for special education and related services, including the provision of appropriate notification of the conference to the parents. When scheduling the conference, the evaluating district shall be expected to extend an invitation to officials of the serving district. The conference shall be for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility only.


5)      In the event the consensus of the eligibility conference attendees is to declare the student eligible for special education and related services, the documentation of such eligibility shall promptly be forwarded along with all evaluations and other relevant information to the serving district. Upon receipt, the district in which the student currently attends school will be expected to develop a services plan, as appropriate, in accordance with the district’s overall plan or policy for ensuring equitable participation of private elementary and secondary school students.


Parent requests for due process, if permitted in accordance with 34 CFR Part 300.457, shall be directed to the parent’s (or student’s, as appropriate) district of residence.


School districts are further advised of their ongoing requirement to maintain data in connection with their Child Find activities. As set forth in Sec. 612(a)(10)(A)(i)(V) of IDEA 2004, local school districts will be expected to maintain a running tally of the following data categories throughout the 2005-06 school year:

(a)    The total number of private school children evaluated;

(b)   The total number of private school children identified as students with disabilities; and

(c)    The total number of private school children served (i.e., receiving some level of special education and related services).

Responsibility for maintaining these tallies shall reside with the serving district. District that will be required to evaluate such children will be expected to cooperate fully in providing data to other districts that are responsible for keeping these tallies. Reports outlining the final total in the foregoing categories shall be submitted to ISBE by no later than June 30, 2006.


At the present time, ISBE is working on developing a data-keeping procedure for obtaining the foregoing data from the school districts and hope to provide further information as soon as possible. In the interim, school districts are urged to keep documentary data pertaining to these tallies in an orderly manner.


NOTE: For the 2005-2006 school year, the district of residence will continue to be responsible for reporting student information on the Funding and Child Tracking System (FACTS).


Timely And Meaningful Consultation

Sec 612 (a)(10)(A)(iii) Consultation.—

To ensure timely and meaningful consultation, a local educational agency or where appropriate, a State educational agency , shall consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education and related services for the children, including regarding—

(I)                the child find process and how parentally placed private school children suspected of having a disability can participate equitably, including how parents, teachers and private school officials will be informed of the process;

(II)             the determination of the proportionate amount of Federal funds available to serve parentally placed private school children with disabilities under this paragraph, including the determination of how the amount was calculated;

(III)          the consultation process among the local educational agency, private school officials and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school children with disabilities, including how such process will operate throughout the school year to ensure that parentally placed private school children with disabilities identified through the child find process can meaningfully participate in special education and related services;

(IV)           how, where and by whom special education and related services will be provided for parentally placed private school children with disabilities, including a discussion of types of services, including direct services and alternate service delivery mechanisms, how such services will be apportioned if funds are insufficient to serve all children and how and when these decisions will be made; and

(V)              how, if the local educational agency disagrees with the views of the private school officials on the provision of services or the types of services, whether provided directly or through a contract, the local educational agency shall provide to the private school officials a written explanation of the reasons why the local educational agency chose not to provide services directly or through a contract.


Local school districts must consult with the private schools within their district and with representatives of parents of students with disabilities who attend those schools regarding:


1.      the child find process and how parties will be informed of that process;

2.      the amount of Federal funds available for the special education and related services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities and how that amount was determined;

3.      the procedures that will be established by the district to provide ongoing opportunities for students with disabilities in private schools to meaningfully participate in special education and related services throughout the school year;

4.      the services that will be provided, where they will be provided, how the district reached this decision and why the district determined to expend funds in this manner; and,

5.      how, if the local school district disagrees with the views of the private school officials on the provision of services or the types of services, the local school district will provide a written explanation to the private school of the rationale for the decision made.

In our view, the process of timely and meaningful consultation is the primary means by which local school districts will be permitted to render decisions about the manner and means by which students with disabilities in private schools may be served. We wish to emphasize our view that, in light of the language contained in Sec. 612(a)(10)(A)(iii)(III and IV) of IDEA 2004, local school districts will not be expected to provide the full range of services a private-school student might require if the student attended a public school within the district. Nonetheless, it also appears clear from the language of this Section that any decisions about the allocation of resources for services to these students cannot occur prior to the completion of the timely and meaningful consultation required by IDEA 2004.


NOTE: In our view, the language of IDEA 2004 also suggests that until such timely and meaningful consultation has taken place, private school students who have existing IEPs and service plans prior to the timely and meaningful consultation shall continue to be the responsibility of the district of residence. Thus, districts should be aware that for those students who are resident in the district but who attend private schools outside the district, the responsibility for providing services pursuant to a service plan or IEP shall rest upon the district of residence until the school district in which the private school is located has conducted its timely and meaningful consultation.


The statutory language of IDEA 2004 (and also the language of the proposed regulations) provides no explicit guidance on what constitutes “timely” consultation by a local school district. However, because we believe it is in the interest of the students and parents affected by this process to receive information and guidance as rapidly as possible, we are requiring local districts to conduct their timely and meaningful consultation by no later than November 15, 2005 (although earlier compliance with this requirement is highly encouraged). Districts are encouraged to schedule timely and meaningful consultations in September to occur in October or November. We remind local districts that it may not be possible to provide the private schools with a full answer regarding proportionate share funding by the time the consultation occurs (see above, “PROPORTIONATE SHARE”). However, local districts will be expected to provide the private schools with proportionate share information as soon as it is provided by ISBE following the district’s consultation with the private schools.


Written affirmation of consultation

Sec 612(a)(10)(A)(iv) Written Affirmation—

When timely and meaningful consultation as required by clause (iii) has occurred, the local educational agency shall obtain a written affirmation signed by the representatives of participating private schools and if such representatives do not provide such affirmation within a reasonable period of time, the local educational agency shall forward the documentation of the consultation process to the State educational agency.


Local school districts must maintain documentation of timely and meaningful consultations with participating private schools signed by the representatives of such schools. If a private school does not agree to consult with the district, then the district must maintain documentation of their attempts to secure the school’s participation at the consultation.


In order to secure adequate documentation of the consultation, districts will be requested to submit at a minimum the following documentation:

(a)    a copy of agenda utilized in the completion of the consultation;

(b)   a copy of the notice form or letter utilized by the district to notify the private schools of the consultation;

(c)    copies of all signed attestations by private school participants at the consultation; and

(d)   if necessary, copies of all invitations provided to private school representative who either refuse to sign the attestation or fail to attend the consultation.


ISBE has included a recommended form that districts may use in order to secure the signed attestation by private school representatives and parent representatives of participation in the consultation. (See attached, APPENDIX A.) In the event that a district chooses not to use our suggested form, the district will still be expected to provide some form of documentation that establishes:

(a)     The date(s) on which the timely and meaningful consultation occurred;

(b)    The outline of the subject areas covered during the consultation process (please refer to APPENDIX A and the five subsections outlined in the previous section, “TIMELY AND MEANINGFUL CONSULTATION”); and

(c)     A signed and dated statement from each private school representative attesting that he/she participated in the consultation and was informed of each of the five areas required for timely and meaningful consultation.

In the event the district is unable to secure a written attestation from one or more of the private school representatives either due to a refusal to provide said attestation or failure to attend the consultation, the district will be expected to provide documentation showing that the school(s) in question were invited to the consultation.


In order to facilitate completion of the consultation process, we urge school districts to begin the process of scheduling their consultations by no later than September. ISBE will require school districts to provide documentation described above by no later than November 15, 2005. If a school district has not submitted its written affirmation (i.e., a dated and completed form APPENDIX A) that such consultation has occurred by November 15th, ISBE will demand submission of such documentation and may utilize appropriate sanctions for district non-cooperation.



Sec 612 (a)(10)(A)(v) Compliance—

(I)          in general.—a private school official shall have the right to submit a complaint to the State educational agency that the local educational agency did not engage in consultation that was meaningful and timely or did not give due consideration to the views of the private school official.

(II)       Procedure.—if the private school official wishes to submit a complaint, the official shall provide the basis of the noncompliance by the local educational agency to the State educational agency and the local educational agency shall forward the appropriate documentation to the state educational agency. If the private school official is dissatisfied with the decision of the State educational agency, such official may submit a complaint to the Secretary by providing the basis of the noncompliance by the local educational agency to the Secretary and the State educational agency shall forward the appropriate documentation to the Secretary.


Private school officials may file a signed, written complaint with the Illinois State Board of Education, Special Education Services, 100 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62777-0001. The complainant must allege that either the consultation was not meaningful or timely or their views were not given due consideration. The complainant should provide supporting information. The Illinois State Board of Education will investigate and issue a decision in accordance with required timelines. If the complaining party is not satisfied with ISBE’s decision, then the complainant may forward the complaint to the Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.


Equitable services and public control of funds

Sec 612(a)(10)(A)(vi) Provision of Equitable Services—

(I)        directly or through contracts.—the provision of services shall be provided--

            (aa) by employees of a public agency ; or (bb) through contract by the public agency with an individual, association, agency organization or other entity.

(II)       Secular, Neutral, Nonideological. Special education and related services provided to parentally placed private school children with disabilities, including materials and equipment shall be secular, neutral and nonideological.


Sec 612(a)(10)(A)(vii) Public Control of Funds—

The control of funds used to provide special education and related services and title to materials, equipment and property purchased with those funds, shall be in a public agency for the uses and purposes provided in this title and a public agency shall administer the funds and property.

Special education and related services that are provided by the local school district to parentally-placed private school children shall be free from religious opinions or views. All services and materials remain under the control of the local school district, even when provided in private school.


The U.S. Department of Education expects to issue a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding the responsibilities of States and LEAs under IDEA 2004 to serve parentally placed private school children with disabilities. The ISBE will continue to provide clarifications on this issue as needed. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact Elizabeth Hanselman at 217/782-5589 or




Notice of completed rulemaking

Please be advised that several rulemaking items recently adopted by the State Board of Education are now in effect. These sets of rules have 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, remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.)


Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision (Part 1)

In at least one instance, access to a public early childhood education program in Illinois has been denied to a child because of the child’s immigration status. The Governor’s Office and the State Board of Education were asked to intervene on behalf of the child’s family and ISBE was directed to take action to prohibit denials of access such as this. Free public education is guaranteed regardless of immigration status under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe. The present amendment to Part 1 makes this protection explicit in the rules of the State Board of Education.


Affected Section:       1.240

Effective Date:           July 13, 2005


Two additional aspects of Part 1 were involved in another recent set of amendments.


Pupil Transportation

Existing Section 1.510 has been expanded to encompass nearly all the material in Part 275 of the rules (Pupil Transportation) that is still current. A new Section 1.515 has also been added to set forth the training requirements for individuals who train school bus drivers. Insertion of this material permits the repeal of Part 275 in its entirety by including all district transportation-related requirements in one location.


Qualifications of Personnel

All the revisions in Section 1.630 were made for technical reasons only. Individuals who only conduct parental involvement activities and do not perform any other paraprofessional duties are not required to be qualified as paraprofessionals, so that has been made in subsection (b)(1). Additional language has also been inserted to convey specific federal requirements for the work of individuals who provide instructional support (paraprofessionals).


Most of the changes in Sections 1.720, 1.745 and 1.755 will eliminate a discrepancy in requirements that resulted from the comprehensive changes that took effect June 1, 2004. At that time, we intended not to change the requirements for teachers in the departmentalized middle grades because other work on middle-grades credentials was in progress. Therefore the existing requirements in Section 1.720 were left in place as exceptions to the new provisions for endorsements (in Section 25.100 of the rules for certification). The subject-area requirement for a middle-grades endorsement is 18 semester hours of college credit and the requirement for reading at all grade levels was also 18 semester hours until the June 2004 changes. As a result, 24 semester hours were newly required for reading at the elementary and high school levels but only 18 hours in the middle grades. The same situation existed for library information specialists and this 24-18-24 “hourglass” led to confusion in the field. It seemed preferable to make the requirements for these fields uniform across all grade levels.


New language has therefore been inserted into subsections (a)(4) and (5) of Section 1.720, which deal with these two fields in the middle grades. The effects of these changes will be (1) to institute the 24-semester-hour requirement at the middle grades and (2) to extend the time period during which applications based on the 18 semester hours can be accepted. The rule was also changed so that, like deficiency statements for endorsements in other fields, these will be honored for one year after their date of issue.


The new subsection (b)(4) in Section 1.720 is intended to clarify that assignment based on meeting minimum requirements is also available in the middle grades.


The amendment to Section 1.737 makes clear that, for teachers of safety and driver education, the “minimum requirements” are the same as the long-standing requirements for the endorsement. There is no content-area test in this field, so there is no feasible way to set minimum requirements different from the full requirements for the endorsement.


Affected Sections:      1.510, 1.515, 1.630, 1.720, 1.737, 1.745 and 1.755

Effective Date:           July 28, 2005


Certification (Part 25)

This set of amendments addresses various issues and includes several technical corrections.


Accessibility of Special K-12 Certificates and Supervisory Endorsements

(Sections 25.37 and 25.497)

Section 25.37 sets forth the method by which subsequent certificates may be issued. This rule has been amended to make the special K-12 certificate available to certain teachers as a subsequent certificate via a streamlined procedure. Section 21-4 of the School Code authorizes special certificates to be endorsed for supervision, but that same authorization is not provided for early childhood, elementary or secondary certificates. However, there are not many preparation programs for the special certificate in various subject areas. Consequently many high school teachers hold secondary certificates and high schools may lack sufficient personnel authorized to perform certain supervisory functions.


An individual who holds a secondary certificate has completed a great deal of the requirements for the special certificate in the same subject area. The “gap” between the secondary certificate and the special certificate can be filled adequately by requiring passage of the assessment of professional teaching for the special certificate, since that is the test that encompasses the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, technology standards and English language arts standards that apply to all teachers across the full range of grades. Therefore, ISBE has facilitated secondary teachers’ access to supervisory endorsements by enabling them to attain K-12 certification by this means. If they meet the additional requirements for supervision that are imposed by Section 21-4 of the School Code, they could then acquire that endorsement.


Section 25.497, which previously discussed only supervisory endorsement of the school service personnel certificate, was expanded to cover the availability of this endorsement on teaching certificates. The School Code establishes the same requirement for graduate-level coursework in each case, so the rule needs only to establish the content that the coursework is required to address.


Requirements for Teachers in the Middle Grades

(Section 25.100)

Please see the discussion above regarding middle-grades requirements for reading teachers and library information specialists. The revision to Section 25.100(k) corresponds to the changes being made in Part 1 to eliminate the “hourglass” in those fields.


Requirements for School Social Workers and School Counselors

(Sections 25.215 and 25.225)

The changes in these two Sections represent a technical correction only, updating a cross-reference. The same correction was also made in Section 25.245, whose substantive aspects are discussed below.


Requirements for School Nurses

(Sections 25.245 and 25.425)

The 2004 rule for school nurses required an evaluation of the preparation of out-of-state applicants with respect to the relevant content-area standards. Rather than requiring these applicants to seek certification through Illinois approved programs, the certification staff recommended a simpler method relying upon the existing degree and licensure requirements, the completion of an out-of-state program or certificate and the Illinois standards-based examination. A corresponding change was needed in Section 25.425 (Individuals Prepared in Out-of-State Institutions) to make school nurses subject to that Section’s general provisions rather than providing for an exception.


Short-Term Authorization

(Section 25.464)

The list of entities given in the introduction to this rule unintentionally omitted regional offices of education. The point of the rule is to permit short-term authorization to be issued to any entity that is required to employ certified staff, so the list was replaced with a statement to that effect.



(Section 25.510)

The change to this Section is a technical one, reflecting the recent repeal of Part 480 and the inclusion of its provisions within Part 475.


Educational Interpreters

(Section 25.550)

Public Act 90-200, enacted in 1997, established the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, one of whose functions was to work with ISBE to develop recommended requirements for interpreters who serve in schools.


There are two types of interpreters, sign language interpreters and cued speech interpreters and approval for each type will be available at the initial, standard and master levels. Emergency approval will also be available. Although the levels are modeled on the teacher certification structure, there is no requirement that an individual progress through lower levels to reach higher ones. Each applicant can be approved to reflect the level of educational attainment and interpreting skill that he or she has demonstrated. Standard and master approval will be renewable based upon evidence of having completed specified continuing education.


Requirements for Approved Providers of Continuing Professional Development Activities

(Section 25.855)

Section 25.855(c)(1) has required that approved providers notify the State Board of Education in advance of the first offering of any new activity. This requirement has proven cumbersome and has been deleted.


Affected Sections:      25.37, 25.100, 25.215, 25.225, 25.245, 25.425, 25.464, 25.497, 25.510, 25.550 and 25.855

Effective Date:           July 28, 2005



Part 120 (Pupil Transportation Reimbursement)

These amendments result from the comprehensive review of the agency’s rules. In addition to streamlining and general technical updating, the changes include elimination of the requirement for the “Resident Pupils Transported Work Sheet” from Section 120.110.


Affected Sections: 120.20, 120.30, 120.50, 120.110, 120.115, 120.200, 120.210, 120.220, 120.230, 120.235, 120.240, 120.245 and 120.250

Effective Date: July 28, 2005


Part 275 (Pupil Transportation)

The remaining necessary material from Part 275 has been moved into Part 1 of the rules (see discussion above) and Part 275 has been repealed in its entirety.


Affected Sections: All

Effective Date: July 28, 2005

Beginning with the 2005-06 reporting cycle, the Teacher Service Record will be reported to ISBE through the IWAS system. The new IWAS-based reporting system will provide a number of advantages to users, which include:


1) eliminating the need to install special software to support electronic reporting,

2) eliminating the need to store and recover data records on diskette,

3) providing a “wizard” to guide users step-by-step through the reporting process,

4) providing embedded reporting aids, including on-screen menus, instructions and data accuracy checks,

5) providing direct secure transmittal of data to ISBE without having to undertake a separate file transfer.


All educational entities that submit a Teacher Service Record to ISBE will be required to use the IWAS system. Electronic files from the Automated Reporting System and paper forms will no longer be accepted.


Although the exact deployment date has yet to be established, the reporting deadline will be adjusted to allow sufficient time for users to submit their data. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call Steve Scaife at 217-782-3950.



Identifying English language learners
As plans for the new school year get underway, it is important to revisit the requirements for serving English Language Learners (ELL) who may be recent immigrants to the United States. Below are a number of items intended to guide school administrators.

Home language survey
School districts are required to conduct a home language survey to each student entering the district’s schools for the first time (Sec. 228.15 of the Illinois Administrative Code). Regardless of a student’s surname or length of time in the U.S., the Home Language Survey is administered for the purpose of identifying students of non-English background. It is administered in English and, if feasible, in the student’s home language. The survey should include at least the following questions:

1.      Whether a language other than English is spoke in the student’s home and, if so, which language; and

2.      Whether the student speaks a language other than English and, if so, which language.

Additionally, if students are identified as having a non-English background, the district must administer an individual language proficiency assessment within four weeks of enrollment.

For information on the "The Rights of Children to Receive a Free Public Education" in English and Spanish see:

To review past guidance from ISBE see

Details of these and other requirements are included in the Illinois School Code:

If you have any questions please call your Division of English Language Learning professional consultant or our main office at 312- 814-3850.




Legislative update

Below you will find the list of bills that have been signed by the Governor since the last update. Please refer to for a more complete description of each piece of legislation. Additionally, if you would like to access the full text for any piece of legislation, go to  on the left hand side of the page, you can search for legislation by bill number. For a House Bill, type in HB and the bill number (ex: HB 1) or for a Senate Bill, type in SB and the bill number (ex: SB 1). The bill status page for that particular legislation will come up. Click on "full text" to see the entire bill.


HB 744 – Public Act 94-0493

Effective immediately, this legislation amends the Department of Transportation Law of the Civil Administrative Code by providing that, upon enactment of a federal transportation bill with a dedicated fund available to states for safe routes for schools, the Department of Transportation shall, in cooperation with the State Board of Education and the Department of State Police, establish and administer a Safe Routes to School Construction Program for the construction of bicycle and pedestrian safety and traffic-calming projects, with construction grants being made available to local governmental agencies.


HB 1387 - PA 94-0519

This legislation amends the Illinois vehicle code by adopting federal motor carrier safety regulations regarding drug, alcohol and controlled substances testing, training requirements, financial responsibility and transportation of hazardous materials.  Violators of motor carrier safety regulations are subject to civil penalty prescribed by federal regulations.  In addition, the driver of any bus that meets specified requirements for a school bus must, in addition to following all other required procedures, turn off all noise producing accessories before crossing a railroad track or tracks. Any school bus manufactured on or after January 1, 2006 must be equipped with a noise suppression switch capable of turning off noise producing accessories.


HB 3822 – Public Act 94-0506

This legislation aligns the various statutes governing Early Childhood Block Grant programs, strikes obsolete language and adds new language to reflect current practices.  Specifically, this legislation removes all the language regarding the phase in of certified teachers which ended in 1998 and clarifies that teachers of preschool children must be certified.  This legislation also reflects current practices by identifying other entities, in addition to school districts, as eligible applicants for the grants, as well as eliminating the model research training program option that has not been implemented for the past fourteen years.  Effective July 1, 2005


SB 10 – Public Act 94-0507

Effective immediately, this legislation states that beginning the 2006-2007 school year, the State Board of Education shall establish by rule, a parental participation pilot project to provide grants to the lowest performing school districts to help these districts improve parental participation through certain activities. This pilot project shall be for a period of at least 4 school years. The State Board shall select 4 school districts to participate in the pilot project, and sets forth criteria for the Board to consider when selecting participating school districts and the requirements for the participants. The Parental Participation Pilot Project Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury for this purpose and the pilot project will be implemented only if there are specific funds appropriated under this section for this purpose. These provisions are repealed on December 31, 2010.


SB 297 – PA 94-0525

Provides that if a school district has a policy to permit proficiency examinations for the practice driving part of the driver education course, then the school district is entitled to only one-half of the reimbursement amount for the practice driving part if the student proficiencies out.  Effective January 1, 2006


SB 574 - PA 94-0534

This legislation creates the College and Career Success for All Students Act. It requires a teacher of an Advanced Placement course to obtain appropriate training, subject to appropriation. The State Board of Education must establish training guidelines that require teachers of Advanced Placement courses to obtain recognized Advanced Placement training endorsed by the College Board, also subject to appropriation. The Advanced Placement and pre-Advanced Placement training to teachers in Illinois high schools must meet certain requirements and the State Board must encourage school districts to offer rigorous courses in grades 6 through 11 that prepare students for the demands of Advanced Placement course work. The State Board of Education must also encourage school districts to make it a goal that all 10th graders take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholars Qualifying Test so that test results will provide each high school with a database of student assessment data to identify students who are prepared or who need additional work to be prepared to enroll and be successful in Advanced Placement courses. This legislation is effective upon becoming law. Effective January 1, 2006




State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Award

The State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Award, administered by Youth Service America, enables youth and educators to bring the positive benefits of service-learning to more young people. Schools and organizations use service-learning as a tool to help youth build stronger academic skills, foster civic responsibility and develop leadership skills. One hundred grants of $1,000 each will be awarded to teachers, youth (ages 5-25) and school-based service-learning coordinators to implement service-learning projects for National Youth Service Day, April 21-23, 2006. The application deadline is October 17, 2005. Visit the website listed above for more information.  




Technology grants available for rural schools

Foundation for Rural Education and Development: Technology Grants for Rural Schools (FRED) Grants, awards and scholarships are provided each year to rural students, residents and communities in OPASTCO members' service areas. FRED’s Technology Grants for Rural Schools help public schools in rural areas bring computers to every classroom, connect schools to the information superhighway and make sure that effective software and online resources are an integral part of the school curriculum. The next application deadline for this program is September 13, 2005. Visit the website listed above for more information.




Healthy Schools Campaign focuses on use of “green” products and processes

The Healthy Schools Campaign is looking for a few good people who are making a difference by using green products and processes to keep schools clean and healthy. We would like to acknowledge hard-working building engineers and janitorial service employees who are leading the way as “Green Clean Champions for Change” by enrolling them in our recognition and support program. If you know someone who deserves a pat on the back for his or her green cleaning efforts, let us know by calling Tammy Dillard-Steels at 312.419.1810 or by emailing


The Healthy Schools Campaign will be hosting an Environmental Education Workshop in partnership with the Green Flag Program of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice on Tuesday August 30th from 9 am – 4 pm. The workshop will cover how Green Flag, a nation-wide program, works in school communities to make them environmentally healthy places. The goals of the program are to educate students about the connection between environment and health and provide concrete suggestions for how individuals and community-based organizations can improve their local schools.

For more information on registration contact Guillermo Gomez at 312-419-1810 or by email at 



Best Buy education technology grants

The Best Buy Children’s Foundation has opened the competition for a $3 million program designed to promote the use of technology at elementary and secondary schools. The Te@ch program awards $2,500 grants to public or private schools in recognition of programs that integrate interactive technology into the curriculum. The $3 million will be awarded to 1,200 schools across the country. All schools must be located within 25 miles of a Best Buy store. Best Buy also offers other community-based support with an emphasis on children. For more information go to and click on the Community Relations link.


The application deadline is September 30, 2005. 



Barnes & Noble – local, regional and national contributions and sponsorships

Barnes & Noble has announced a grant opportunity for nonprofit organizations in Barnes & Noble communities supporting literacy, the arts or K-12 education. Proposed projects should include a plan for promoting the program that visibly involves Barnes & Noble. Organizations must also be willing to work with local stores on in-store programming. For detailed information go to: 



Revised grant guidelines for Starbucks Foundation

The Starbucks Foundation has issued revised guidelines for its grantmaking. In the past, grants have supported programs aimed at promoting diversity, helping low-income populations and assisting at-risk youth with literacy. The Foundation funds programs that:

·         Address literacy and learning in an innovative way and provide high standards of excellence for the mastery of basic skills.

·         Encourage reading, writing, the arts and critical thinking as powerful communication tools in commitment to important social issues such as social equity, justice and environmental awareness.

·         Provide opportunities for youth voices in print, electronic, digital, audio/video media and/or spoken word performance.

·         Encourage partnerships among formal and informal education systems.

·         Embrace diversity and build bridges of understanding among youth of diverse ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds.


For updated information, go to Letters of inquiry are reviewed twice a year on September 1 and March 1.




Weekly news clips

View last week’s news clips at: