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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-38

Distributed via Email: January 27, 2012

STATE BOARD PROPOSES FY ‘13 BUDGET

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) this week proposed its Fiscal Year 2013 budget. Despite the prognostications from legislators and others regarding another austere budget with, at best, flat spending for public education, ISBE proposed a modest 3.9% increase in overall education funding.

ISBE FY 2013 budget proposal includes a $265 million increase over FY ’12. Several budget line items were identified to receive a funding increase, but the bulk of the increase would be devoted to the General State Aid (GSA) Formula.

GENERAL STATE AID

Just over $200 million of the budget increase would be allotted to the GSA formula. Though last year the legislature maintained the statutory foundation level at $6,119 per pupil, the amount appropriated fell short and that amount was prorated at about 95% when it came time to make payments to school districts. This year ISBE, in a laudable attempt at providing transparency in the budget, recommends adjusting the statutory foundation level. Even with a $201 million increase in GSA, this would actually only fund a per pupil foundation level of $5,972.

MANDATED CATEGORICAL GRANTS

And while the budget proposal calls for full funding for special education reimbursement costs, unfortunately ISBE did not request full funding of the current transportation reimbursement formula. As was reported in the last Alliance Legislative Report, ISBE is looking at changing the transportation reimbursement formula to redistribute funding among districts in a way that encourages more efficiencies. ISBE is calling for level funding for transportation, generally the same amount in FY 2013 that was appropriated in FY ’12.

OTHER BUDGET LINE ITEMS

ISBE budget recommendation includes new line items to support some of the education reform initiatives recently enacted, and a few increases in existing line items, including:

  • $19.9 million increase in early childhood education;
  • $7 million increase in bilingual education;
  • $5.8 million increase in state assessments;
  • $4.1 million increase for principal and teacher mentoring;
  • $3 million for strategies and interventions for lowest performing schools (new);
  • $2.8 million increase in school district consolidation incentives;
  • $2 million for training educators on Common Core Standards (new); and
  • $1 million to support homeless students (new)

ISBE did recommend funding salaries and services for the Regional Offices of Education (ROE) with State monies. ROEs had been funded with state general revenue funds until the current fiscal year when the legislature approved a bill to fund the ROEs by using local Corporate Personal Property Replacement Taxes. A commission will be reporting back to the legislature this spring on its recommendations for streamlining the ROEs and how they should be funded.

Next month the governor will propose his recommended budget for the entire state, including education spending. The General Assembly, then, will take the governor’s spending plan and modify it as it sees fit. It remains to be seen how much of ISBE’s recommendations will be embraced either by the governor or the legislature.

GOVERNOR TO DELIVER STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

Governor Pat Quinn will give his State of the State address Wednesday before a joint session of the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate. The session will begin at noon. Legislators should expect a broad outline of the governor’s plans and legislative agenda for 2013, but few specific budget details. Look for the fiscal details at the Governor’s Budget Address on February 22.

Little is known about what the governor may propose for changes in public education this year. Remember, it was in last year’s address that the governor pushed for mandatory school district consolidation. The governor did reveal, however, that he plans to follow President Barack Obama’s lead to call for raising the compulsory school attendance age to 18. The President made his statement during his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening and the governor echoed those remarks today (Friday).

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL FOR NEW SCHOOL REPORT CARD

Governor Quinn Tuesday signed into law HB 605 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) which will overhaul the state’s school report card. Under the Act, the new report card must include the following data:

  • School characteristics and student demographics, including: average class size, average teaching experience, student racial breakdown, percentage of low-income students, percentage of students with limited English proficiency, percentage of students with an IEP, per pupil operating expenditure;
  • Curriculum information, including: advanced placement and dual credit courses offered, foreign language classes offered, before and after school programs, extracurricular activities offered, average number of days of physical education per pupil per week, gifted education programs offered;
  • Student outcomes, including: percentage of students meeting or exceeding State standards on assessments, percentage of 8 th grade students who pass Algebra, percentage of students who graduate from high school who are “college ready”, percentage of graduates who are enrolled in some type of institution of higher education;
  • Student progress, including: percentage of 9 th grade students who have earned five or more credits without failing more than one core class, number of kindergarten students who entered the program “ready to learn”, percentage of students who enter high school “on track for college and career readiness”; and
  • School environment, including: percentage of students and teachers with less than 10 absences in a school year, leaves taken pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act, 3-year average of the percentage of teachers returning from the previous year, the number of different principals at each school in the last six years, combined percentage of teachers rated as proficient or excellent in their most recent evaluation.

The report card must also allow for comparing the current outcome, progress, and environment data to the State average based on the type of school and enrollment. The bill is now Pu blic Act 97-0671 , effective January 24, 2012.

COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, January 31, 2:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 209 (Dunkin, D-Chicago) requires a chief executive officer and a general superintendent of schools in Chicago to have a Master of Education degree and hold a current teaching certificate issued under the School Code.

HB 1248 (Mell, D-Chicago) requires high school students to complete at least 15 hours of community service each year before being eligible to move to the next higher grade level or graduate from high school. The bill allows up to five of these 15 hours of community service to be performed by the parent or guardian of the pupil if the parent or guardian performs the community service with, and at the same time as, the pupil.

HB 3819 (Chapa La Via) makes changes concerning transitional bilingual education. The bill requires the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education to submit a report to the State Superintendent of Education, the Governor, and the General Assembly no later than January 1, 2013. The report must address certain questions concerning the modification of bilingual education programs.

This legislative report is written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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