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MEDIA INFORMATION

Covering education and school boards can be daunting, especially for someone new to the beat. The communications staff of IASB can be a valuable resource as you consider story ideas and decide how to tackle school policy and governance, law, and finance topics.

We are committed to connecting the news media and press to accurate information quickly. We will help you get in touch with experts inside or outside of our organization. Your inquiries may be directed to any number of IASB sources, depending on what you are looking for.

Because we are statewide organization that focuses primarily on school governance and policy issues, we seldom comment on individual school district issues, particularly operational matters. But we are available to comment on broad issues, trends, and developments. Even if IASB is not the right source for attribution for your story, we will do our best to suggest sources and perspectives that would be appropriate.

Please direct inquiries to:

James Russell, 217/528-9688, ext. 1121 or email: jrussell@iasb.com.

If unavailable, please contact Britni Beck, Administrative Assistant, at ext. 1131 or email bbeck@iasb.com. Every attempt will be made to answer your questions in a timely manner.

You may also want to refer to the following online resources:

Foundational Principles of Effective Governance
As the corporate entity charged by law with governing a school district, each school board sits in trust for its entire community. This webpage explains the obligation to govern effectively imposes some fundamental duties on the board.

What is IASB?
The Illinois Association of School Boards is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening the public schools through local citizen control. Our vision is excellence in local school board governance supporting quality public education. This page also links to staff, officers and directors, and other Association background information.

Search Online
This search engine has been specially designed to help you find information on the IASB website. It permits you to search the entire website or search only selected publications or documents. That is, you can limit your search to Alliance Legislative Reports if you are looking for legislation; back issues of the Illinois School Board NewsBulletin or the Illinois School Board Journal for selected articles; or all other documents.

Press Releases
News releases about the Association and its members, including events, new publications, awards, surveys, staff, etc., are issued as needed. These releases are archived to 2006.

Education Year in Review
A capsule summary of the events and issues over the past school year, Education Year in Review highlights the following areas: legislation, state and federal education developments, IASB programming and attendance, IASB financial report, and honors and awards.

Annual School Calendar
A document (pdf) containing all the dates and legal requirements that Illinois school districts must comply with during the school calendar year. Updates are made periodically to allow for revisions to reflect any new legislation enacted or the correction of any errors.

School Board Elections Overview
Elections are held in April of each odd-numbered year. Terms are staggered so there are three or four seats contested at each biennial election. This IASB website provides a variety of publications regarding the consolidated election that should be helpful for school boards, candidates, and voters.

New School Laws
A summary of new laws affecting Illinois public schools is designed to alert school boards, administrators, business officials, and principals to new laws and changes in existing laws, taking after Jan. 1 of each year.

Position Statements
Resolutions adopted by the IASB Delegate Assembly provide major policies for the Association and establish its stance on legislation and related matters of public policy. These statements are updated annually.

Illinois School Board Journal
The Journal is a bi-monthly magazine published by the Association and distributed to all of its members. Articles, which are written by IASB staff, freelancers, and experts in the field of public education, are archived from 1995.

Illinois School Board News Blog
In May 2015, the Illinois School Board Newsbulletin was converted to a blog format. The Illinois School Board News Blog offers content tailored to school board members and administrators in a timely, efficient manner. The News Blog presents reliable information to help readers solve problems and keep up with relevant news, including information about IASB’s services, programs and governance matters.

Understanding School Finance
This booklet (pdf) answers essential questions about the basics of school finance, from "What is a school district budget?" to "What do we get for the money we spend on education?"

Playing Fair With the Children of Illinois
This booklet (pdf) challenges parents and taxpayers to determine for themselves whether their schools are adequately and equitably funded and to seek solutions through more local effort or more state aid. It also discusses impact of staffing and program needs, property wealth, and tax rates.

Where Does the Lottery Money Go?
This booklet (pdf) presents questions and answers about the Illinois lottery and its very limited impact on public school funding. It also shows the decline in the state's commitment to schools since advent of the lottery.

Child Nutrition Issues
"Weighing Healthier Options" is a series of articles and reports published in the Illinois School Board Journal, the Illinois School Board Newsbulletin, and supplemented with online resources at the IASB Website. This is an in-depth examination of childhood obesity, nutrition and physical activity as these issues relate to public school operations and school board policy-making.

Education Links
This page features a list of other websites of special value to school board members, administrators and others interested in good school governance. Subjects include school board leadership; legislative and government resources; school management resources; periodicals; and other important sites.

Educational Acronyms
This list is our best attempt at providing a guide for Illinois school board members, administrators, and the IASB staff for acronyms currently in use.

Directory of Member School Districts
Provides the district contact information, names of school board members, and the superintendent for each IASB member school district. Direct links to school district websites are also provided, where available.

Illinois School Law Survey
The Illinois School Law Survey , which is published bi-annually, is a popular layman's guide to school law that uses a question-and-answer format to address issues commonly encountered by school board members and administrators. Answers are based on state and federal statutes, court decisions, and government agency regulations.

Coming to Order - A Guide to Successful School Board Meetings
Coming to Order is a book IASB originally published in 2006 to enable school boards to use their meetings to reach a higher level of performance as well as those that simply need a cure for bad meetings. This revised edition takes the board meeting beyond compliance with legal requirements to meetings that serve the interests of both school and community.

Essentials of Illinois School Finance
Sub-titled "A Guide to Techniques, Issues and Resources," this book is designed not only as a training manual and desktop reference for school business managers and budget makers, it also provides an effective reference for anyone who needs to understand the essentials of Illinois school finance.

Robert M. Cole Award
IASB sponsors the Cole Awards in a special category of the annual statewide newspaper contest conducted by the Illinois Press Association. Named in memory of the first executive director of IASB, the Robert M. Cole Award recognizes outstanding newspaper coverage of education issues that emphasizes the community's connection with its local public school district.

 

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