IASB Holds 2020 Delegate Assembly, Adopts Positions and New Belief Statement

IASB Holds 2020 Delegate Assembly, Adopts Positions and New Belief Statement

November 14, 2020

The Illinois Association of School Boards held its annual Delegate Assembly on November 14, 2020. Delegates representing 278 IASB member school districts considered eight new resolutions, three reaffirmations of existing positions, and one new belief statement in an event held virtually due to ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

One proposed resolution called for IASB to advocate for legislation that would strengthen gun storage laws “if a person under the age of 18 is likely to gain access to the weapon without permission.” The resolutions process conversation included gun safety measures in homes and children’s access, as well as consideration of the Association’s role in matters outside of school venues and educational issues. The Resolutions Committee recommended against adoption, and a motion to consider it before the Delegate Assembly failed on a 108-146 vote.

Proposed resolutions relating to emergency/pandemic response were brought before the Resolutions Committee. One proposal seeking support for a regional approach to health emergencies was recommended to and adopted by the Delegate Assembly. A second proposal was not considered due to duplicative wording with the first. The Delegate Assembly also voted to adopt a resolution supporting local decision-making to designate e-learning or remote learning days on Election Day in emergency circumstances.

A resolution addressing the teacher shortage and expanding the issuance of provisional teacher licenses to all curricular areas was adopted. Other adoptions included reaffirmations of existing positions relating to Illinois’ state-authorized charter schools, including renewals of charters, the enrollment of at-risk students, and funding. Also included in 2020 are amendments to and deletions of out-of-date or no longer relevant position statements.

A resolution supporting teacher preparation programs and scientifically proven methods of literacy and reading instruction was not considered after an appeal to hear the original submission failed 112-147. However, revised language proposed during the Resolutions Process by the Resolutions Committee was approved and adopted.

A resolution adding a new Belief Statement on Educational Equity was adopted. The statement holds that IASB will encourage member districts “to integrate the principles of equity and inclusion in school curriculum, policies, programs, and operations, ensuring every student is welcomed and supported in a respectful learning environment.” Belief statements express significant values commonly held by local boards of education; they may or may not call for action to be taken by the Association.

Considered by the Committee, but not adopted in 2020, were a resolution proposing support for a school finance loan program and a resolution regarding the timing of release of Illinois School Report Card data.
The annual Delegate Assembly includes the election of IASB officers. Delegates elected Thomas Neeley, a member of the Morton CUSD 709 Board of Education, to a second one-year term as president of the Association. Simon Kampwerth Jr., a member of the Peru ESD 124 Board of Education, was elected vice president, also for a second year. Kampwerth is also the Chair of the 2020 Resolutions Committee.

Details on the IASB Resolutions Process and Delegate Assembly(Opens in a new window) are available on the IASB website. 

In the IASB Resolutions Process, each resolution is originally proposed by a local school board, reviewed by a 21-member Resolutions Committee, and then brought before the Delegate Assembly. The adopted resolutions set IASB’s policies and establish the legislative direction of the Association and its member districts. The Delegate Assembly is typically held during the Joint Annual Conference, held in November in Chicago. This year’s Conference was canceled. A Virtual Summit for Illinois school district leaders is November 20.

IASB is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening public schools through local citizen control. Although not part of state government, IASB is organized by member school boards as a private not-for-profit corporation under authority granted by Article 23 of The Illinois School Code.