Sample Policies Provide Transparency for Districts Attending PD Events 

  • Date Posted
    August 8, 2022
  • Category

Illinois school districts planning to send district leadership teams to the 2022 Joint Annual Conference are encouraged to be transparent and proactive with their professional development activities. An easy way in which boards of education can achieve this is by adopting policies that ensure transparency for district professional development and related expenses. 
IASB’s Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) has sample policies to assist school boards with ensuring transparency as it relates to professional development. One such policy addresses mandatory professional development for board members and permits and encourages other ongoing leadership training opportunities. Sample Policy, 2:120, Board Member Development, provides sample text regarding issues related to setting considerations for board member training. 
Boards can use the sample policy language to set parameters on governance concerns (ensuring that board members learn, understand, and practice effective governance principles and other best practices). Boards can also use the policy to set guidelines on three types of state-mandated training: Professional Development Leadership Training (PDLT); the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA); and the Open Meetings Act (OMA) training. 

Opportunities to fulfill state-required training are provided through a full-day Pre-Conference PDLT/PERA Training for School Board Members, while other sessions and exhibits will be available on topics ranging from school finance and student achievement to school law and school safety, as well as current education issues and best practices. 
It is also important for boards of education to be as transparent as possible regarding Conference related expenses. Two additional sample policies are available through PRESS on this topic. Sample Policy, 2:125, Board Member Compensation; Expenses (for board member expenses), and sample Policy 5:60, Expenses (employee expenses). 

The content of both these policies is stipulated in state law (105 ILCS 5/10-9, 5/10-10, and 5/22-1 (no compensation allowed, conflicts of interest prohibited); 105 ILCS 5/10-22.32 (expense advancements); and the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (ECA) 50 ILCS 150/10 (regulation of travel expenses). The purpose of these policies is to ensure legal compliance of Illinois statutes. 
It is recommended that school boards review their existing policies and/or adopt a policy to confirm they are in line with the necessary laws prior to attending the Annual Conference and other professional development activities. It is also suggested that local boards communicate these policies to the community and district residents with the goal of ensuring transparency of district expenses. 
The 2022 Joint Annual Conference will be held November 18-20 in Chicago. Additional information can be found on the Conference webpage or by following along on social media using #ILjac22. A full list of all Conference panels, activities, and other professional development events will be included in the Conference overview available in September.