Date PostedMarch 12, 2021
ISBE Budget Recommendation
The State Board of Education has requested an additional $406 million in state funding for Fiscal Year 2022. The funding request would represent a 4.6% increase over current spending levels, with $50 million to be directed toward early childhood education grants and the remaining funneled to the Evidence-Based Funding formula.
The governor had previously requested flat-funding for K-12 education in his budget address. If an increase is not approved for the FY22 budget, it would mark the second year in a row that the previously agreed annual increase of $350 million to the Evidence-Based formula failed to be met.
Emotional Intelligence and Social Emotional Learning Task Force Report
As part of legislation signed into law in 2018, the Emotional Intelligence and Social Emotional Learning (EISEL) Task Force was created to develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence and social and emotional learning curriculum, assessment guidelines, and best practices for elementary schools and high schools. After 10 meetings between November 2019 and January 2021, the EISEL Task Force has released its finalized report.
The task force, which included an IASB member, Anna Klimkowicz of the board of Township High School District 211, has provided guidelines that include teaching how to recognize, direct, and positively express emotions. EISEL Task Force recommendations address school and student wellness, mental health, and social and emotional learning.
According to the report’s executive summary, “The report does not explicitly include curriculum that was developed by the task force, but it does include non-regulatory guidance by which local schools can adopt curriculum that best meets their specific needs. Curricular adoption is a local process.” The EISEL report also includes an array of recommended funding sources to support social, emotional, and behavioral learning initiatives.
Those Who Excel and Teacher of the Year Nominations
Nominations for the Illinois Teacher of Year Award and Those Who Excel are now being accepted by ISBE. Teachers with five years or more experience can be nominated for Regional Teacher of the Year for their respective regions. The 2022 Illinois Teacher of the Year will then be chosen from one of the eight regional award winners. ISBE will present four additional awards for teachers, including for Outstanding Early Career Educator (less than five years’ experience), Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Early Childhood Teacher of the Year, and Special Education Teacher of the Year. Nominations for all classroom teacher categories will be accepted until April 23.
ISBE will also be accepting Those Who Excel nominations to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to Illinois schools. Awards are presented in five categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteer, and teams. The Those Who Excel program offers an opportunity to recognize individuals who contribute to making Illinois schools places where all students can achieve success. The deadline to submit nominations for Those Who Excel is May 21. Additional information on the awards program and nomination forms can be found on the Those Who Excel webpage.