AM News: What'll IL House Do With SB7?

image from webmedia.newseum.orgIllinois lawmakers return to tackle education reform and the budget WBEZ:  Tuesday, lawmakers return to Springfield to work on other challenges like education and the state budget…  Putting School Suspensions on the Agenda CNC: Cannon has been involved with Blocks Together, a community organization in Humboldt Park that is one of seven groups working to pressure top CPS officials through a new campaign called High HOPES (Healing Over Punishment of Expulsions and Suspensions)… Schools can learn from program that puts parents in classrooms:  Soo Hong was sitting in class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education when she first heard about what was going on in Chicago’s Logan Square… Michelle Rhee: Thumbs-Up on JC Brizard Fox:  Nationally recognized school reformer Michelle Rhee was in Chicago on Tuesday, and she offered a strong endorsement of new Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, who was disliked by most teachers in his previous district of Rochester.


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  • early childhood cuts for IL and many other states, notes NIEER annual report covered by catalyst

  • save teen outreach programs, says jim broadway from SSNS

  • online campaign to save education spending in IL -- not sure who's behind it or what their agenda is but just so you know:

  • The on-line campaign discussed by Alexander is being supported by the Raise Your Hand group. It is a good idea to start such a campaign, millions of dollars in reductions to State k-12 education funding are indeed possible. Yesterday the Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee was supposed to meet a 2pm, the meeting was canceled at about 11:30 and I was already in Springfield so the cancelation did me little good. I did get a chance to talk to several different members of that Committee and several individuals from ISBE.

    Based on these discussions I feel that what is called the Mandatory Catagorical funding lines for special education in the k-12 budget will not be cut from the level proposed in Governor Quinn's budget where they are slightly increased for the FY11 level. At this time I have not discussed this issue with the relevant members of the Senate Appropriations II committee, but I hope to soon.

    Legally it is a problem for the General Assembly to reduce special education spending because of ongoing maintenance of effort requirements for special education related spending because they are part of mandated categoricals pursuant to the federal Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For IDEA, expenditures must be maintained at the level of the preceding year. Last year special education funding for CPS and all other school district in Illinois was dramatically reduced by Governor Quinn's proposed budget issued on March 10, 2010.

    Access Living wrote the Governor a letter on April 2, 2010 discussing how the proposed budget placed the current level of special education funding received by Illinois from the Federal government in jeopardy. Access Living also advised the Governor that Illinois would "fail to meet the established test for the US Department of Education granting a waiver" from the federal funding requirements for special education called the maintenance of effort provisions of IDEA.

    The ISBE had preliminary discussions with OSEP [Office of Special Education Programs of the USDOE] about obtaining a one- time one year waiver from these spending requirements. As Access Living predicted ISBE was told it would likely not be given a waiver. Faced with a cut off of all federal special education funds ISBE was forced to allocate funds from those that had been provided to ISBE by the General Assembly in lump sum form to cover the state's special education maintenance of effort requirements.

    Members of the General Assembly, ISBE, and the Governor's office do not want to go through this again. I expect that what ever else gets cut in K-12 education the mandated special education categoricals will not be among them.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    from a reader:

    It's a bunch of parents who are mad as hell & just can't take it anymore.

    If you recall, we helped send over 150,000 emails to legislators in 4 weeks last year, helping to restore almost $1 billion to the state ed budget.

    More at

    Thanks for promoting the campaign -- we need a diverse, statewide push while everyone is falling all over themselves to put each other on the back over SB7.

  • reprieves for neighborhood schools leave new schools with no place to open, reports catalyst --

    and to think i believed it when you guys told me that new schools were all-powerful and never wanted for anything.

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