Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 5:07 PM
To: Regional Superintendents and Special Education
Directors District Superintendents
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert
The State Board met this week in Rock Island and took action
to address an issue of immediate concern regarding teachers
who are 2004 candidates for the Standard teaching certificate.
More detailed information on that topic appears below, along
with other links from the board meeting.
Todays message includes:
- Report Card Update
- FYO5 Budget Input Sought
- Other ISBE Board Meeting items
- Standard Certificate Revisions
- Administrators Academy List
Report Card Update
The designated contractor has yet to complete the School
Report Cards and related documents. At this point in time,
we are unable to provide a specific date as to when the Report
Cards will be released.
District superintendents will be notified via e-mail when
the Report Cards are available and can be accessed via a secure
FY05 Budget Input Sought
Attached are three documents related to the development of
the FY05 budget for elementary and secondary education which
were discussed at the recent Board Meeting.
The first is our normal line item spreadsheet from FY91 through
FY04 to provide a recent historic context of state general
The second is a set of funding options for most elementary
and secondary programs which begin at the current appropriation
and increase through inflation and larger levels of funding
to what might be considered the financial needs of the elementary
and secondary education system to assist all students achieve
The third is a set of education data measures (to be posted
soon on the budget page www.isbe.net/budget/default.htm)
designed to put funding in the context of broader system trends.
The first goal of these documents is to characterize the
overall financial needs of schools to achieve high levels
of academic achievement by all students. The second goal is
to solicit comments on the most appropriate funding options
and the most important priorities among programs competing
for resources in the FY05 budget process.
It is important to understand that these funding needs are
unrelated to where the money comes from federal, state
or local sources and that these programs are not necessarily
additive. Many address similar concerns and if one is funded
to address that issue, another may not have to be funded.
We invite you to review this, share it with others and provide
comment to help the State Board determine funding priorities
and levels for the entire elementary and secondary education
system that can be incorporated into the FY05 budget recommendation
to the Governor and General Assembly. To help solicit comments
we will have a separate comment cell for each program.
Other State Board Meeting items:
ISBE addresses standard certification problem for 2004;
names first Spotlight Schools; approves SES Providers
At its meeting in Rock Island this week, the State Board
voted to develop legislation for the fall override legislative
session that would waive certain professional development
requirements for 2004 Standard Certificate candidates. A detailed
summary of the issue and of the proposal approved by the board
can be viewed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/oct23-03b.htm.
In other business, the Board recognized the first group of
Spotlight schools schools that have high
academic achievement in school with a majority of students
from a poverty background. Additional Spotlight
schools will be announced soon. Our news release of the first
seven recognized schools can be viewed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/oct23-03.htm.
In addition, the State Board also approved two new providers
for Supplemental Educational Services under NLCB. Our news
release can be viewed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/oct23-03a.htm.
School financial status presentations
The Board also heard presentations from two area schools
districts on their financial status (see summary below). We
appreciate their attendance and informative presentations.
Bureau Valley Community Unit District #340 is starting
their ninth year of consolidation. The district was created
when six former districts united to provide a better educational
opportunity for their students. State incentive money for
consolidation was provided which benefited the process. The
district was formed and approved on a referendum on its first
attempt in 1994 with almost two-thirds approval - which appeared
to be a first in Illinois history. The district has an enhanced
curriculum as a result of the consolidation along with improved
extracurricular opportunities. The school has earned four
state trophies in their brief eight year history. Bureau Valley
is still facing the same challenges that all rural schools
face involving finances. Decreased E.A.V., increased expenditures
in programs, decreased population in rural settings, and legislative
non-funded mandates are just some of the issues facing this
As a result of the challenges, Bureau Valley has become proactive
with several decisions to reduce their expenditures, not waiting
for more revenue from either Springfield or Washington. One
decision was to grade site their K-5 students this past year.
The change has been met with success both, educationally and
financially, saving the district some $300,000. A bold undertaking
the district is now undertaking is the application for a wind
turbine generator that will save thousands of dollars monthly
on their utility costs.
Through all its plans, Bureau Valley is very committed to
providing the best public education it can for its students.
Rock Island School District 41 Superintendent, Dr.
Dave Markward, and Comptroller, Mike Oberhaus, reported to
the State Board that the District made $1.5 million in expenditure
reductions for the 2002-03 year. Heading into the 2003-04
year, they had presented cuts of $4,500,000 to balance the
Education Fund revenues and expenditures. With the State providing
$250 in additional state aid, they were able to reduce cuts
by $2,200,000. Rather than decimate educational programs,
the District adopted a budget with an operating deficit of
$2,200,000, utilizing accumulated surplus to cover the deficit.
Mr. Oberhaus showed that without additional funding the District
would be facing severe financial consequences by 2005-06.
Dr. Markward stated that if additional state funding is not
available for 2004-05, additional cuts will be necessary.
A specific listing of potential cuts was shown. Finally, Dr.
Markward stated that the District has moved from financial
recognition to financial review and is rapidly heading to
financial watch status. He suggested that it would be beneficial
to fix the funding problem now rather than dismantling the
programs the District has worked so hard to build.
Standard Certificate Revisions
Effective immediately, all subsequent certificates issued
to Illinois teachers who hold a Standard Certificate will
be issued as Standard Certificates. In other words, once an
individual has earned one Standard Certificate, all additional
certificates will also be at that level. We will reissue the
certificates of individuals who are affected by this change
in policy (which is made possible by a recent change in our
rules) and we will also modify the TCIS so that the certificates
show up at the appropriate level. This is the result of rule
changes that were final last week, and it should provide both
consistency and clarity for teachers and administrators.
At this point, out of state teachers with more than four
years of experience will still be given Initial Certificates
unless they have a masters degree in an educational
field and therefore have met the requirement for the Standard
Certificate. This is consistent with the law on this topic.
Administrators Academy List
A list of approved Administrators Academy courses is
now available on the State Board website at: http://www.isbe.net/admin.htm.
Stories of interest may be viewed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/newsclips/102403.htm.