The month of December is a turning point for all of us.
In your districts, you have made it halfway through the school year. In
We know there is a critical need to improve how
education is funded and the level of funds available for education in
I have asked the superintendents who serve on the IASA State Superintendent’s Advisory Group, superintendents at a variety of regional meetings, and our State Board members over the past weeks if there was only so much money available next year, what they would focus on first? Resoundingly, I have heard: “Fund the mandated categoricals”. Further, many of those responding to my question specifically elaborated on how an excessive amount of their resources is being absorbed by the rising costs related to special education, which in turn can short change other important programs.
In the short-term the ISBE is focusing our top priority on recommending new funds in FY05 be used for the full funding of the mandated categoricals for FY 05 at the statutorily formulated levels. In the long-term we know, and are working toward, changes in the formula that fund the mandated categoricals for special education, so that the dollars received best reimburse districts for the expenses incurred.
I appreciate your continued support and input on this matter.
Aso in this week’s message:
· Downstate Schools Earn “Spotlight”
· Regional Middle Grades Reading Conference
· Panasonic Academic Challenge Accepting Applications
· Summer Institute Scholarships Available
· School Breakfast Conference
Downstate Schools Earn “Spotlight”
State Board of Education (ISBE) gave
State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller
presented plaques to each of the “Spotlight Schools” during a special reception
Please go to http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/dec02-03.htm for the complete media advisory.
The Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence
recently named five schools or districts as recipients of the 2003 Lincoln
Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence:
Community Consolidated School District 59 in
The Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence is a
not-for-profit organization that assists
Regional Middle Grade Reading Conferences
I am pleased to announce a series of three regional conferences to address ways to improve middle-grade (4 to 8) reading comprehension.
Our program for each one-day conference will run from to Sessions include topics on what happens in the process of reading acquisition, appropriate ways to help middle-grade students improve reading comprehension, how to use valid assessments to shape your middle-grade reading program, and how to build a reading culture at your school. During lunch, we’ll hear from a panel of educators whose schools have reversed a trend of low or declining reading scores to learn how they did it. Since one of the goals is to create a practical action agenda to guide our continuing efforts in this area, each conference will conclude a discussion of future steps. Conferences are scheduled as follows:
February 23 –
February 27 –
March 4 –
Please save the date for your regional ISBE Conference on Middle-Grade Reading and plan now to attend. I strongly urge district superintendents to identify, principals, school reading specialists, and or curriculum specialists to attend. I look forward to seeing you there. Further information regarding registration will be forthcoming.
Panasonic Academic Challenge Accepting Applications
The Florida Department of Education and Panasonic invite you to compete in the 17th Annual National Panasonic Academic Challenge. The Challenge showcases the excellence of our nation’s education and rewards individual scholastic achievement.
Panasonic will award $31,500 in scholarships to the members and coaches of the 2004 winning teams. Applications and additional information may be accessed at www.academic-challenge.org
Summer Institute Scholarships Available
The Public Policy High School Initiatives at the University of Illinois at Springfield is offering full scholarships for up to 150 Illinois sophomores and juniors to attend the
one-week workshops on leadership
and the four-week Institute on
Students will be selected based on their written essay
and successful completion of the application. The deadline for applying is
Applications and more detailed information is available at http://pphsp.uis.edu.
School Breakfast Conference
A one-day conference focusing on school breakfast will
be held on December 12 at the Holiday Inn Select in