This week’s message will focus primarily on issues
discussed by the State Board during its meeting in
Meeting Paraprofessional Requirements
As you know from previous communications, the No Child Left Behind Act requires that paraprofessionals with teaching duties be qualified through one of three options:
Paraprofessionals who were employed after the effective date of the law (January 8, 2002) to work in a program supported by Title I funds are already required to meet these criteria; all paraprofessionals employed before January 8, 2002 and working in programs supported by Title I funds will be required to do so by January 2006.
Yesterday, the State Board adopted recommendations designed to help you and your staff meet these requirements. These recommendations, which were developed based on feedback from districts and regional offices of education, provide both short- and long-term solutions.
For the short term, the Board endorsed the use of three options to meet the requirements.
The guidelines for local assessment are provided at the end of this message and will be available on the State Board website.
The longer-range option will allow paraprofessionals to meet the NCLB requirements by participating in a new training program based on paraprofessional standards developed by the American Federation of Teachers. Completion of this program, which is expected to be available in community colleges across the state later this year, will result in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and recognition as a Paraprofessional Educator.
Once these paraprofessional options are in place (final
action is scheduled for late spring), they will provide
Additional information about this topic and our progress to date can be found in the State Board press release at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/jan16-03.htm and/or the State Board meeting materials at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/jan03meeting/schedule.html. If you have specific questions, please call Pat Ryan at 217/782-4123.
Part of the mission of the Assessment and Accountability
Task Force is to review and make recommendations regarding the state’s accountability system. The goal is to assure that it is
comprehensive, fair, and useful, and that it meets the basic requirements of
federal law. During its meeting
this week, the State Board revisited the work of the previous Designation Task
Force (2000), reviewed the new federal requirements and renewed its endorsement
of a “multiple-indicator comprehensive accountability system.” Next week, the Assessment and
Accountability Task Force will begin its work on developing such a system by
examining the earlier work in
2003 Cumulative Waiver Report Recommendations
The State Board’s annual cumulative waiver report to the General Assembly must include recommendations regarding the repeal or modification of waived mandates. The recommendations in this year’s report, which were given final Board approval yesterday, call for amendments to the School Code to do the following:
Both of these recommendations reflect a large number of waiver requests and, if adopted, would give you increased flexibility in scheduling while honoring the intent of the original laws.
The State Board took final action yesterday on two sets of proposed rules that had been submitted for public comment. The certification rules were amended to reflect legislative changes to the stipend and incentive payments available to NBPTS-certified teachers, changes to certificate renewal requirements and LPDC procedures, requirements for speech-language pathologists and teacher preparation institutions’ use of test results. The certification rule changes also clarify expectations for electronically mediated professional development. If you did not have a chance to review these rules in draft form, you may want to do so now, especially since the changes add two additional options through which teachers can earn CPDUs for certificate renewal.
The second set of rules adopted yesterday put in place a new credential that will eventually be required of all individuals who wish to serve as directors or assistant directors of special education.
The Board also authorized distribution for public comment of proposed amendments to the bilingual education rules. These amendments are technical revisions to implement legislation that changed the requirements for notice to parents whose children are enrolled in bilingual education program and strengthened parents’ right to have their children removed from such programs on demand.
Copies of these rules and the relevant background materials can be found at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/jan03meeting/schedule.html.
Special note: both of the rule sets adopted this week were modified as a result of the public comment we received. We appreciate the time and attention you give to helping us ensure clarity and appropriateness in the rules and look forward to your continued comments in the future.
2002 Educator Supply and Demand Report
This year’s report on educator supply and demand shows the lowest growth in the educator workforce in ten years, a leveling off of teacher attrition and a continued upward trend in administrator attrition. I encourage you to read the full report, which can be found at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/Jan03meeting/supplyrpt.pdf.
or to see the highlights in the press release at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/jan15-03.htm.
Because we believe the draft guidelines for Medicaid
School-Based Administrative Claims would have a significant and negative effect
To give you some perspective on the importance of this
Middle Level Endorsement Requirements
Earlier this year, the State Board ended a two-year study of middle-level certification issues by deciding to enhance the middle level endorsement requirements rather than develop a new middle level certificate. To secure your views on what the enhanced requirements should be, the Middle Level Advisory Panel will host an open forum on February 10, 2003 at the Bone Student Center on the campus of Illinois State University. The discussion will last from until . If you are interested in participating in the forum and/or you wish to share your ideas in writing, please contact Dr. Deborah Curtis, chairperson for the Panel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Local Assessment of Paraprofessionals
(adopted by the State Board of Education)
LEAs that choose to develop local assessments for paraprofessionals will be expected to meet the above criteria and electronically submit an assurance statement to ISBE that all criteria have been met.
January 10, 2003
Mr. Richard Strauss, Director
Division of Financial Management, FSQC, SMSO
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Dear Mr. Strauss:
This is in response to your recent
release of the draft Medicaid School-Based Administrative Claiming
Guide. The changes contemplated in these
guidelines will have a significant and deleterious effect on
Moreover, it would appear that many of these changes will apply only to the administrative claims filed by school districts. This would be unfortunate, since the school is the best place for Medicaid outreach to occur. By placing restrictions that apply only to schools, these changes will ultimately hurt our economically-disadvantaged students.
Considering the harmful effects that these rules would have on our children, I respectfully request that you revise your guidelines to ensure that schools are placed on equal footing as others who are reimbursed for administrative claims.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 217/782-2223.
Robert E. Schiller
State Superintendent of Education
cc: Speaker Dennis Hastert
Members of the