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News

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2005

Illinois takes lead role nationally as first state to develop financial reporting model for tutoring providers

Illinois State Board of Education reports financial information for State’s approved tutoring providers under No Child Left Behind

Springfield, Ill. –The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has put in place the nation’s first financial reporting requirements for tutoring providers under the No Child Left Behind Act. ISBE led the nation in putting the new reporting requirements in place to be sure that Illinois school districts have the information they need to choose the best tutoring providers for their students. Districts need to choose providers that can give great results at the lowest possible cost. Because school districts have a set amount of Federal funds to spend on tutoring services, they need to stretch those funds to serve the greatest number of kids.

“To maximize the benefit of these services for children throughout Illinois, we need to look at each provider’s results in the classroom and examine their costs for those services.” said Randy Dunn, State Superintendent of Education. “We have to be sure that we’re helping as many students as possible and stretching our resources to get the maximum benefit of tutoring services. Our new reporting system will help us look at all aspects of every provider carefully to be sure we’re doing the best we can for our students.”

ISBE has released the results of its financial reporting requirements for all approved Supplemental Education Services (SES) providers in Illinois. The reports detail each provider’s financial information, including program and staff costs, building expenses, curriculum and training expenditures, overhead for administrative staff and materials, and profits for shareholders.

Rules adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in June 2005 require SES providers to report and establish their actual cost of services. Under the rules, costs must be reported in the following categories:

  1. Direct Program Expenses
  2. Occupancy Expenses
  3. Curriculum and Training Expenses
  4. Administrative and General Expenses

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), school districts are responsible for funding SES, which includes tutoring and other academic instruction for low income families attending schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress for three consecutive years. Federal law limits the per-child amount an SES provider can charge to the lesser of the district’s per-child allocation under Part A of Title I of NCLB or the actual cost of the services.

Approved providers in Illinois were required to report their actual cost of services for the 2004-05 school year, and provide a reasonable estimate of their actual cost of services for the 2005-06 school year. The graphs prepared by ISBE detail the percentages spent by each provider in the four categories of expenses, and provide a comparison of the provider’s per-pupil costs to that of other providers.

The information obtained through ISBE’s financial reporting requirements serves a number of critical functions:

  1. Informs parents: Many of the program descriptions offered by providers look similar on paper. Distributing financial information to parents gives them an accurate sense of the amount of resources dedicated to the classroom, and the amount used for administrative expenses not directly related to tutoring.
  2. Lowers costs to serve more students: The reporting system forces providers to publicly justify the costs charged to school districts. In many cases, the maximum rate a provider can justify is less than the district’s per-child allocation under Part A of Title I of NCLB. School districts have a limited amount of funds to spend on SES. By ensuring that the amounts providers charge to districts reflect the actual cost of services, more students will be served.
  3. Provides financial accountability: Virtually every other publicly-funded program has a system to provide for transparency and accountability for the expenditure of government resources. Prior to the enactment of ISBE’s rules, no such system existed for SES.

The financial information for each approved SES provider in Illinois is available in Adobe Acrobat format at: http://www.isbe.net/nclb/htmls/sesp_isbe_resources.htm.

An overview of ISBE’s SES financial reporting requirements is available at: http://www.isbe.net/nclb/htmls/sesp.htm.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777