FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2003
Board of Education Recommends Legislature
Deny 3 of 85 Waiver Requests
State Board of Education today authorized sending the sixteenth
semi-annual Waiver Report to the General Assembly with recommendations
that three of the 85 waiver requests from school districts
the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate must deny
a waiver request to prevent it from being implemented. The
legislature has thirty days from the time it receives the
Waiver Report from the State Board to act on the requests.
If not acted upon during that thirty-day period, waivers automatically
go into effect.
school districts requested waivers from Section 2-3.25d of
the School Code requirement that districts be placed on the
Academic Watch List after serving on the Academic Early Warning
List for two consecutive years without making adequate progress
in student achievement. St. Anne Community High School District
302 and Madison Community Unit School District 12 were notified
in December that their high schools were being moved from
the Academic Early Warning List to the Academic Watch List.
The schools were initially placed on the AEWL in 1998, and
since that time the percentage of students meeting standards
on state tests has decreased--from 49.3% in 1998 to 18.4%
in 2002 for St. Anne and from 49.1% in 1998 to 24.1% in 2002
for Madison High School.
State Board recommends that the legislature deny these two
requests for several reasons:
requests would violate the accountability requirements
of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
requests are not based upon sound educational practices.
requested actions would compromise equal opportunities
The request does not have improved student performance
as a primary goal.
School District 80 submitted a request to renew a waiver to
allow the district to employ instructional aides without their
being under the direct supervision of a certified teacher.
This request seeks to waive the provision of Section 10-22.34
of the School Code that requires that any instruction provided
by noncertificated individuals be provided under the “immediate
supervision” of a certified teacher and that the certified
teacher be “continuously aware of the non-certificated
persons’ activities and shall be able to control or
legislative denial is being recommended because the waiver,
if approved, would violate the teacher quality provisions
of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, the
State Board notes:
is not sound educational practice for one group of students
to receive instruction from individuals who do not have
the complete training of a certified teacher, who is
assumed to be fully and highly qualified.
noncertificated individuals providing instructional
support outside of the immediate control of the classroom
teacher compromises the learning opportunities for students
since the instructional aides do not have the benefit
of the pedagogical expertise and teaching experience
of the classroom teachers.
request does not have improvement of student performance
as its primary goal.
personnel do not enjoy the same protections from liability
suits as those enjoyed by certificated personnel.
Spring 2003 Waiver Report is the sixteenth report to be submitted
to the General Assembly pursuant to Section 2-3.25g of the
School Code. That law, enacted in 1995, permits school districts
to request waivers or modifications of state education laws
and administrative rules promulgated by the State Board of
Education. The State Board is authorized to act on those requests,
but all waivers of state law must be submitted to the General
Assembly for its consideration.
report contains 85 requests that seek to waive mandates contained
in 14 School Code provisions. These include requirements pertaining
to daily physical education (20 requests), driver education
fees (19 requests), administrative cost limitations (11 requests),
parent-teacher conferences and inservice training (seven requests
each), and non-resident tuition and evaluation plans for tenured
teachers (five petitions each). Other requests to be forwarded
to the General Assembly for action address the Academic Watch
List, bonds, consolidation, General State Aid, substitute
teachers, superintendent duties, and teacher aides.
the fall waiver report, the State Board of Education has approved
163 requests that modify School Code mandates or modify or
waive agency rules. Of those, 133 address legal school holidays;
17 address adjustment of instructional time pertaining to
the spring administration of the Prairie State Achievement
Examination; eight address daily physical education; two address
driver's education; and one each addresses criminal background
checks, school food program, and substitute teachers.
entire waiver report may be accessed on the State Board's
website at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/apr03meeting/waiversumrpt.pdf.