An announcement made on July 11, 2016 by the Illinois State Board of Education ushers in a new era of testing for high school juniors.¬† No longer will the ACT be the entrance exam of choice offered by the State Board of Education, but instead all juniors will be provided an SAT test in April.¬† Because of federal requirements (I know, there are federal requirements also) high school students will still take a science exam.¬† This is good news though as it will reduce the spring testing burden for our high school students.
More information related to the State Budget impasse. As the laws in IL currently seem to indicate, failure to pass a budget means that the State of Illinois cannot make necessary appropriations for federal revenues. This means that school districts will not receive their expected federal revenues.
For Geneseo District 228 this means the loss of more than $750,000 in IDEA Special Education reimbursements, Title I or Title II dollars for special programs, and no allocation for the National School Lunch program.
Another reason to contact local legislators and the Governor’s office to get back to work to bring this to a resolution.
Legislators continue to review any number of bills and proposals related to a budget for the 2016-17 school year (since they’re quickly passing the 2015-16 budget year).¬† This letter may help to explain some of the current situation for our school district.¬† FY 17 State Budget Letter
A special thank you and congratulations to Coach Don Fredericks this week. He will take zero credit for the Boys Track team’s success at the State Meet, but for¬† many years he has done so much for Geneseo Track and Cross Country. From making sure students have the right equipment, to advocating for more classes to enable more student-athletes to experience state finals, to mentoring a cadre of young coaches– he truly embodies the district mission to “Teach-Learn-Care”.
So, Coach Fredericks, savor that big hardware that came back from Charleston on Saturday. You never stopped believing. We are as proud and grateful for your work as we are the kids!
Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. a group of area superintendents joined with the Regional Superintendent of Schools of Bureau, Henry and Stark Counties to share concerns about the lack of movement towards a state budget for education for Fiscal Year 2017.¬† Area legislators were invited, and it was appreciated that Rep. Donald Moffitt was able to attend and engage the crowd in some Q & A.
It is important to note that while Fiscal Year 2016 saw an educational budget approved by the Governor and General Assembly (albeit one that was pro-rated in many instances) there are concerns that the State will have an inadequate supply of dollars to assure all payments will be received this fiscal year.
Additionally, there are many signs of concern that the overall State budget stalemate that drags on in approving a full State 2016 budget, will bleed over into Fiscal Year 2017.¬† No state budget for K-12 education will lead us down a path similar to the fiscal tragedy our state community colleges, colleges and universities face now and that¬† you have read, viewed and heard in media outlets over the past several months.
This ROE Presentation March 24 2016 PDF summarizes a plea from area educators that politicians move away from the partisan politics that have plagued our State for many years now and adopt a reasonable FY 2017 budget for schools so that we can adequately prepare for changes that may be necessary.¬† Do it now. We believe that legislators were elected to serve student interests as well as those of private-sector business, those who need social and mental health services, support to attend colleges and universities, appropriations for our roads and other infrastructures— and were not elected to defer difficult decisions, assigning blame to others.
We simply ask that you look at budget options carefully, choose the one that makes the most sense, vote to adopt said budget, and allow constituents to have time to make necessary adjustments where appropriate.
While PARCC test is under way, we just received this PARCC Year 2 Parent Letter March 2016 final (1) from State Superintendent, Dr. Tony Smith. ¬†Please feel free to contact your building principal or the superintendent regarding this letter.
Luckily, we aren’t worried about a snow day on Monday, as we were not scheduled for a day of student attendance, but rather a Teacher Inservice Day.
Perhaps that gives us time for some sunshine and warmer temps to clear off much of Sunday’s snowfall!