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IASB JOINT ANNUAL CONFERENCE


IASB RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED (2008)

NEW RESOLUTIONS
(all language is new)

BILINGUAL EDUCATION OPTIONS

BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois Association of School Boards shall request the Illinois State Legislature to pass legislation to amend the current Illinois School Code to make Transitional Bilingual Education optional and not mandatory.

ABATEMENTS FOR HOME BUILDERS

BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation to amend the Illinois Property Code (35 ILCS 200/18-165, et seq.) to enable Boards of Education to develop criteria for awarding abatements of school property tax to individual homebuilders. Said legislation shall provide rural school boards that are struggling with declining enrollments and loss of assessed valuation with a tool to stimulate the growth of both tax base and population base of their districts.

PROPERTY TAX CAP – GSA CALCULATION

BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation to modify the General State Aid Formula calculation for school districts subject to PTELL (Property Tax Extension Limitation Law) such as that they are not penalized when successfully passing an operating fund rate increase referendum.

BOARD MEMBER – TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation which will allow members of Boards of Education to be reimbursed for mileage for school board meetings held in compliance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act and for events regarding school district staff. Mileage reimbursement would be paid at the federally allowable travel reimbursement rate.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TRAINING

BE IT RESOLVED that the Illinois Association of School Boards shall oppose any legislation that includes a provision for mandatory training of school board members. The IASB encourages local boards of education to model continuous improvement by pursuing all professional development and training opportunities. The IASB, with its unique combination of expertise and resources, is uniquely in the position to be the primary agency responsible for school board member training and professional development as recognized by Article 23 of the Illinois School code.

RESOLUTIONS TO AMEND CURRENT POSITIONS
(new language is underscored; deleted language has strikethrough)

POSITION STATEMENT 1.07, STANDARDIZED TEST PROCEDURES

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall urge the Illinois State Board of Education to contract with a national testing company to develop a state assessment test that will test the Illinois Learning Standards on a yearly basis in compliance with, and only testing those areas required by, the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act. Further the IASB shall support legislation to:

  • require that the test be given no later than October of each year with results received by local school districts no later than December of that same year;
  • provide that assessments include both an annual overall performance measure as well as a system of formative classroom-level assessments that are linked to desired standards;
  • require that the test will remain the same for 10 years with only changes in the test items to maintain security; and
  • require that the cut scores be set before the test results are tabulated, leaving the score ranges the same from year to year and from grade to grade. ; and
  • expedite and fully fund test development and implementation of an appropriate assessment instrument for English language learners.

POSITION STATEMENT 1.08, STUDENT ASSESSMENT

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation that will modify required State student assessments so testing does not go beyond what is required by federal law, and that prohibits the Illinois State Board of Education from pursuing activities designed to expand student assessment without legislative approval. Further, the Association shall support efforts to modify the Illinois and federal student assessment processes so that they will:

  • reduce costs to schools, the state and therefore taxpayers
  • enhance student achievement;
  • increase student instructional time;
  • facilitate test score comparability within and across state lines;
  • fairly test students who are English language learners so that their academic progress can be accurately assessed regardless of their fluency;
  • return test results in a manner that will allow school districts to maximize student learning;
  • comply with the federal accountability mandate tied to testing;
  • maintain a needed emphasis on the Illinois Learning Standards; and
  • develop a reporting process that reflects a school's progress beyond simply student assessment scores.

POSITION STATEMENT 1.09, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

The Illinois Association of School Boards:

  • strongly disagrees with the premise that the quality and complexity of teaching and learning can be adequately and solely assessed by one achievement test given once during the school year;

    • disagrees with the practice of assessing all schools with inconsistent standards allowed to be used by individual states to determine school accountability and adequate yearly progress;
    • believes that the federal government has no authority to sanction local school districts; and
    • believes that the current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability model for students with disabilities is not consistent with the goals of the new IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), as amended.

Therefore, the IASB shall work with the National School Boards Association and other coalitions to urge Congress and the Illinois General Assembly to:

  • amend the provision allowing for one high-stakes test to determine student achievement;
  • remove the provisions for local school district sanctions;
  • focus on professional development for teachers and administrators;
  • fully fund any requirements placed on local school districts;
  • amend the Act to permit alternate assessments and other appropriate measures of achievement for students with disabilities as specifically addressed by the student's Individual Education Program (IEP);
  • amend the Act to permit alternate assessments and other appropriate measures for English language learners, including but not limited to providing directions and question content in their most fluent language, or to allow removal of individual English language learners from the subgroup when no appropriate test at their language level exists;
  • allow academic progress to be charted by comparing performance measures made at periodic intervals within cohorts of students rather than by comparing the grade level group test scores from year to year; and
  • reject the adoption of an NCLB requirement that high school students be tested annually as the sole measure of academic achievement.

POSITION STATEMENT 2.34, SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall adopt as a position statement the recommendations contained in the Report of the Finance Initiative Committee of the Illinois Association of School Boards which reads:

"The State of Illinois, having the responsibility of defining requirements for elementary and secondary education, establishes that the primary purpose of schooling is the transmission of knowledge and culture through which children learn in areas necessary to their continuing development. Such areas include the language arts, mathematics, the biological, physical and social sciences, the fine arts and physical development and health.

Each school district shall give priority in the allocation of resources, including funds, time allocation, personnel, and facilities to fulfilling the primary purpose of schooling." (The School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-1)

The Illinois Association of School Boards believes that adequate funding must be provided for each student in order to guarantee the opportunity for an appropriate public education.

An appropriate education is defined as an education that provides for all students educational opportunities that meet the goals for learning established by the state in the Education Reform Act of 1985 and local community expectations as expressed through local board policy.

The following is criteria by which proposals for school finance reform shall be evaluated:

1) The state's funding of public education should provide for a stable, reliable and predictable commitment of revenue.

2) State funding levels for public education should be a function of the actual cost of providing an appropriate education.

3) Adequate funding should be sought through the addition of new state revenues for public education.

4) Any funding formula developed by the General Assembly shall place high priority upon achieving the goal of equity in providing financial resources to local school districts.

5) Increased state funding for public education should not reduce the access of school districts to the local property tax base.

6) In the distribution of state funds to local school districts:

a) Funding differentials for various levels of schooling are appropriate only if based on verified costs;

b) Consideration should be given to regional differences in the cost of providing an appropriate education;

c) The method of calculating the number of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds should be based on current, verifiable data;

d) Size of school district is important only to the extent that a district provides an appropriate education.

7) A specified local tax effort should be required to qualify for state aid.

8) Authority for changing a district's aggregate tax levy should be retained by the local board of education.

9) Taxing authority without referendum for unit districts in all funds should be equal to the sum of the taxing authority in dual districts.

10) Funding should not be tied to mandated training of local Boards of Education.

In order to obtain substantial new state revenues for funding an appropriate education, the following considerations should have an impact on any proposal for school finance reform:

a. A legitimate level and type of accountability will be needed.

b. The physical plant needs of Illinois' school districts should be addressed.

c. Taxpayer equity and relief, including uniform tax assessment and procedures as well as tax relief for limited fixed income and disabled citizens, should be provided.

RESOLUTIONS TO RE-AFFIRM CURRENT POSITIONS

POSITION STATEMENT 2.25, NON RESIDENT STUDENT TUITION

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation to allow legally enrolled students who have become non-residents of the district to attend the school as a non-resident student, tuition-free, only until the end of the grading period in which the student was determined to be a non-resident. The legislation should allow students who are seniors in high school, and legally enrolled on the first day of school to continue in the district, tuition free, only until the end of that school year.

POSITION STATEMENT 2.39, UTILITY TAX ABATEMENT FOR SCHOOLS

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation that would exempt public schools from all taxes imposed by state, federal, and units of local government. They shall neither seek to deprive or deplete public schools of their funds. Each public school district shall be issued its own district's State and Federal Tax Exemption Identification Number for such exemption. It shall be the responsibility of the taxing body to notify the agency collecting the tax of its exemption and assure its implementation.

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