Advocacy in Action (9/18/13) - School Safety Funds Available Soon; Race to the Top Questioned; IL Education Funding Comm. Meets

By Alison Maley posted 10-02-2013 09:19

  
advocacy in action
Spotlight on Springfield 
Illinois Legislative and Policy Updates  

  

The Illinois General Assembly will resume business during the veto session 
October 22-24 and November 5-7.
 
SCHOOL SAFETY GRANTS AVAILABLE SOON

  

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has received a $25 million federal grant to support upgrading school safety features. Of the $25 million, $5 million is earmarked for school districts in Cook County and $5 million allocated for higher education institutions. The application process will likely open in January 2014. 

  

The funds will be distributed on a competitive grant basis and must be used for physical safety features (alams, windows/doors, fences, locks, etc.) and cannot be expended for personnel. Eligible projects are likely to include:

  • Notification and warning systems
  • Land-mobile radios and base systems
  • Security sensors
  • Locking devices and entry systems
  • Metal detectors, magetometers, etc.
  • Reinforced doors and gates
  • Camera-based security systems 

IEMA published proposed administrative rules to administer the grants in the Illinois Register last week. To view the proposed rules, see this link: Illinois Register (pg. 8) 

 

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted in writing for a period of 45 days following publication of the notice (9/6/13). Comments should be submitted to:

 

Traci Burton, Paralegal Assistant

Illinois Emergency Management Agency

1035 Outer Park Drive

Springfield, IL 62704

(217) 785-9860

  

 

TROUBLE WITH THE LATEST PENSION PROPOSAL?

 

Rich Miller (Capitol Fax blog) examines the potential political trouble with the latest pension reform proposal in his weekly column.

 

EDUCATION FUNDING COMMITTEE MEETS

  

The Senate Advisory Committee on Education Funding met for the second time on Tuesday to review recommendations from the Illinois State Board of Education on considerations for funding proposals and changes to the current General State Aid formula. 

  

The ISBE "white paper" includes general recommendations for examining school funding and will be further discussed and voted upon at the Board's planning retreat September 18-19. Click below for the white paper and a slideshow on school finance from Augenblick, Palaich and Associates. 

More resources and information about the Education Funding Advisory Committee can be found here

  

  

BILL SIGNING UPDATE

 

See this IPA Connect blog post for updates on bills signed into law of interest to principals and school leaders. New updates listed below:

  • Teacher Licensure: Out-of-State
  • State Seal of Biliteracy
  • School Bus Cameras
Heard on the Hill
Federal Education News

 

RACE TO THE TOP QUESTIONED BY NATIONAL STUDY

According to analysis from the "Broader, Bolder Approach to Education" and the Association of School Administrators (AASA), Race to the Top required winning states to make "unrealistic and impossible" promises to boost student achievement in exchange for prizes that were unequal in comparison to their pledges. 

Most striking in the research is that, after three years, Race to the Top has not spurred states to address what is really the cause of poor academic performance: "poverty and the associated lack of opportunities that accompany it."



NAESP SEEKING SEQUESTRATION STORIES

NAESP is compiling stories of the real impact of sequestration budget cuts to help maintain the pressure on those who would prefer to let sequestration remain in effect, or go deeper. Please take a moment to share any impact sequestration has had on your school or district through this link: How Has Sequestration Impacted You?


CALL IN FOR FEDERAL RELATIONS UPDATES

NAESP hosts a Federal Relations Network conference call every other Tuesday while Congress is in session. The next call is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17 at 1 p.m. (CST). Dial-in information is below:

Conference phone: 1-866-290-3067
Conference code: 9437098830

Washington updates are generally covered during the first 15 minutes of the call, followed by 10-15 minutes for discussions and Q&A on any issues. The calls last no more than 30 minutes. Please feel free to join in!


FEDERAL AFFILIATE POLICY UPDATE 
ISBE Updates
News from the Illinois State Board of Education

 

STATE ASSESSMENT RESULTS RELEASED
 
Last week, the Illinois State Board of Education released statewide averages for the state assessments administered last spring. 
 
While the statewide composite score for students meeting and exceeding standards dropped from 82.1% in 2012 to 61.9% in 2013, overall performance on ISAT reading scores improved from 54.8% in 2009 to 59% in 2013, and math scores increased from 55.3% to 58.7% within the same time period. The ISAT science scores, not impacted by the raised cut scores, grew from 79.8% in 2012 to 80.0% in 2013. 
 
View more statewide ISAT data in this press release and see here for comments from State Supt. Chris Koch on 2013 ISAT results. 
 
For continued assistance in messaging your school's scores based on the new performance levels, please see these resources:
 
ISBE EXPECTED TO VOTE ON 70/30 AND CLASS SIZE RULES ON THURSDAY

The Illinois State Board of Education is expected to consider rule changes that define special education and general education class size limits and classroom student composition (70/30). Audio for Thursday's meeting will be available here: http://www.isbe.state.il.us/
 
Illinois State Board of Education Plenary Session
Thursday, September 19
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
 

ISBE TO MOVE AHEAD WITH PARCC ASSESSMENTS 
 
State Superintendent Koch reiterated in the Weekly Message on Monday that ISBE intends to move forward with PARCC assessments, but acknowledged that their ability to do so is limited due to General Assembly appropriations. 
 
According to ISBE, cost estimates for the PARCC assessments are comparable to what Illinois currently spends on assessments. IPA and other stakeholders have been told however, that "pencil and paper" tests could cost $2 - 3 more per pupil, per test, until all schools administer assessments online. There continues to be a concern that most districts do not have the technology infrastructure to support online instruction and online assessments. 

 
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • ISBE Model Math Curriculum Webinar - September 26 (webinar). Register here. 
  • Online course series on Illinois 5Essentials Survey opens September 30. To enroll, email Danielle Brush Lewis at dlewis@ilvirtual.org. Courses worth 20 CPDUs each include:
    • Designing blended learning
    • Project-based approaches
    • Thinking critically with data
    • Assessment of 21st Century skills
    • Collaboration in the classroom
    • Educational leadership in the 21st Century classroom

 

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

   

Archived Superintendent's Weekly Messages are available at isbe.net 
State Policy Watch
Education News and Policy Across the Nation
In This Issue
Spotlight on Spfld
Heard on the Hill
ISBE Updates
State Policy Watch
Advocate Today
 
Use IPA's Capwiz to send a message to your elected officials
Quick Links



 
News You Can Use
IPA Governmental Relations 
 Alison Maley
Gov. Relations/Public Relations Director
(217) 241-0595

 Follow us on Twitter


#FederalLegislation #Pensions #AdvocacyInAction #RetireeBenefits #StateBudget #ISBE #SchoolSafety #StateLegislation
0 comments
23 views