On Paraprofessional Licensure - A Note from ISBE

Many of you know about the updated law regarding teacher licensure that removes some of the requirements related to the test of basic skills.  IAASE supported the bill when it was moving through the legislature as it removed an unnecessary burden on potential applicants into the teacher pipeline.  But, we hit a wrinkle when it was signed last week.  That wrinkle is that it also applies to paraprofessionals and that meant that a shortage of parapros throughout the state would be getting worse.  IAASE President, Kevin Rubenstein, received lots of calls from people all over the state who were concerned about this issue.  He worked with the team at ISBE and our governmental relations consultant (Shannon Miller Bellini) to figure out a way to address the issue.  We realize that this is not a perfect fix, but Dr. Carmen Ayala, Superintendent at ISBE addresses the issue in her weekly newsletter:
From ISBE Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Ayala 
As many of you know, last week Governor Pritzker signed PA 101-0220 into law. The new law eliminates the requirement that a licensure candidate pass a test of basic skills. This clears the path for any teacher candidate who had completed all other requirements to earn the Professional Educator License. ISBE has identified 246 individuals with currently pending license applications that will be updated. Those candidates will either receive a license or be able to move forward with other remaining requirements. 
We understand there are concerns regarding the passing of this law and how it effects individuals applying for a paraprofessional endorsement. We are working with the sponsors of the legislation to author a trailer bill during the fall veto session to reinstate the option for those applying for a paraprofessional endorsement to do so using a test. In the interim, individuals who do not hold an associate degree or higher or a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited institution of higher education may proceed with taking the ETS-paraprofessional exam or ACT WorkKeys, with the understanding that ISBE cannot consider a passing score as a means to obtain the endorsement until subsequent legislation is enacted. This likely will not occur until November due to the timing of the fall veto session. 
The law does not affect endorsements and licenses that have already been issued. We have prepared a fact sheet with frequently asked questions to assist you and we will continue to keep you updated as we have more information.
Our IAASE Legislative Team will collaborate with the bill's sponsors to make sure that there is a fix for the Fall Veto Session. 

Back to School Legal Updates with IAASE

Our Wednesday Webinars at 1:00 p.m. are back this year and we are pleased to announce that our first webinar will be held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Join Michelle Todd and Jessica Nguyen from the law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick, and Kohn for a great webinar focused on all of the latest and greatest Back to School Legal Updates you and your team need to know about.

Click here to get registered.

IAASE Administrator Academy at Fall Conference

Looking for a great Administrator Academy?  IAASE has you covered...

Register now at this link (opens in a new window).

What Went Wrong: Analyzing and Strategizing to Prevent District Losses in Special Education Litigation  AA 1886

Image result for litigation
Presented by:  Dr. Christina Sepiol

This course is focused on informing and educating school staff on the topics and practices that frequently involve special education litigation. By a review of the legal foundations and standards, followed by an analysis of case law examples, participants will be able to identify sources of legal guidance, including the risk factors for discussion by school staff when faced with legal situation in their own educational settings. In addition, this presentation will review those topics and practices that may be initiated in general education but have special education implications such as transgender issues, discipline, and responding to school crisis. Finally, participants will discuss and be able to identify possible resolution options in the different legal situations that they may face. Communication of litigation options to key stakeholders, including a rationale for each, will be a component of the resolution process.

Membership Options for the 2019-2020 School Year

We are pleased to announce the opening of membership for the 2019 – 2020 year.  Click here to get started with your membership.  There are several options you have available to you:

BEST OPTION - Unified Membership - $410.00
Unified Members hold membership in IAASE, CASE (Council of Administrators of Special Education) and the Council for Exceptional Children.
  • Professional members may vote and hold office
  • Holds an Illinois Professional Educators License with administrator endorsement, and / or
  • Has responsibility for supervising special education or pupil service personnel in public, private or state agency, or
  • Is a college faculty whose major responsibility is the professional preparation of educators or administrators of special education / pupil services
Next Best Option - Professional Membership/ Business Associate - $180.00
  • Professional members may vote and hold office
  • Holds an Illinois Professional Educators License with administrator endorsement, and / or
  • Has responsibility for supervising special education or pupil service personnel in public, private or state agency, or
  • Is a college faculty whose major responsibility is the professional preparation of educators or administrators of special education / pupil services
Business Associates
  • Business, (per individual) or
  • Vendor, (per individual) or
  • Corporation, (per individual) or
  • Private individual marketing a product or service to Illinois education agencies
  • Business Associate members may not vote or hold office
Description: Includes conference registration at Professional Membership rate. Membership provides opportunity to advertise in the IAASE newsletter and/or sponsor IAASE social or conference events at additional cost.

Final Option - For Retirees and Aspiring Administrators
Retiree Membership:
  • May be employed by or contracted with an educational institution or providing products or services to school districts in a part-time capacity
  • Was previously an IAASE Professional Member and retired from full-time work and
  • Retired members may vote and complete a term if in an office prior to retirement. May not hold a new office
Aspiring Administrator Membership:
  • Member is not in an administrative role
  • Aspiring members may vote but not hold office
  • Enrolled in a graduate program leading to Administrative or Supervisory endorsement Documentation Required
Description: Includes all member benefits including reduced conference registration fee, newsletters and legislative updates.

Awards & Nominations Seeks Applicants for Ott Scholarships

The Awards and Nominations Committee will be awarding at least one and possibly several scholarship grants of $500 to assist individuals in the pursuit of graduate study leading to improved competency in the administration of special education programs. To be eligible for the Ott Scholarship, individuals must be:
  • A member of IAASE and be a student enrolled in an advanced special education or administration program;
  • Demonstrating leadership in the Organization and to the field of special education
For additional information about how to apply or be nominated for this scholarship, please click here.

Nominate a Colleague for a Region Award

Nominations are now being accepted for our Regional Awards. Any IAASE member within the region can nominate a colleague who meets the criteria. A letter of nomination must be sent to the region representatives or their designee. The letter of nomination should indicate how the nominee meets the established award criteria.

Regional awardees will be recognized at a regional event and will also be recognized at the IAASE winter conference. They will also have their nominations forwarded to the IAASE awards committee chairperson for consideration for the IAASE Vuillemot, Berto, and/or Trailblazer awards. There are two awards available in each region:

Regional Leadership Award
  • Member of IAASE for at least 5 years
  • Exhibits strong leadership in the administration of special education programs
  • Demonstrates loyalty to colleagues and the professional organization
  • Displays commitment and strong professional standards
Regional Trailblazer Award
  • Member of IAASE
  • Exhibits exemplary service to teachers, students, and the administrative team of his/her organization
  • Leads and/or implements innovative practices and approaches including professional development, curriculum, service delivery, program evaluation, methodology, technology, etc.

To nominate yourself or one of your colleagues for these awards, please contact your region representative.

CASE & NCLD Partner to Release Eligibility for Special Education Under a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Classification

Our national organization, CASE, has been working with several other organizations and the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), and we’re excited to announce that their efforts have officially been released as of July 31, 2019!

Together, 11 national organizations (including CEC, the Council of Administrators of Special Education, and the Division for Learning Disabilities) developed Eligibility for Special Education Under a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Classification, which features 8 joint principles to guide the evaluation process for identifying students who have SLD and are eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) .

Visit NCLD’s website to learn more about this exciting work and help improve policies and practices—whether for your own child or for those you serve.

A Few Great Conference Opportunities

There is certainly not a shortage of great professional development coming up in the 2019 - 2020 school year!

CASE/NASDSE Joint Conference
October 27-29, 2019 - Louisville, KY
Join your special education administrative colleagues from the state and national level for the annual CASE conference in Louisville, KY.  We will partner with our National Director Colleagues (NASDSE) for a fantastic event.
Keynote Speakers include Marilyn Friend and Johnny Collett.
Hotel blocks and registration are filling quickly!  Register now at this site (link opens in a new window). 
CEC Annual Convention 
February 5-9, 2020 - Portland, OR  
The CEC Convention is the largest meeting of special education professionals in the world!  You will not want to miss this great event in Portland, OR!  Register by September 30, 2019 to receive a discount on registration! 
Keynote speakers include Sady Paulson and Randy Sprick!

Get registered now at this link.

Educators Needed for HB 424 Task Force

ISBE is looking to convene a task force of educators, interpreters, parents, and advocates to inform the enactment of HB 0424 upon it becoming state law. All individuals interested in being considered for participation on the task force may submit a letter of interest and resume to the Division of English Learners (DEL) at DEL@isbe.net by Aug. 2. For any general inquires, contact DEL via email or call (312) 814-3850.

Proudly Announcing - Randy Grieser - Our Second Keynote Speaker!

Our Fall Conference is scheduled for October 16 - 18, 2019 in Tinley Park, IL and you certainly won't want to miss it!  We will have tons of great updates and new information from the field and inspiring keynotes from great people!  One of those great people is Randy Grieser!
About Randy Grieser 
Randy Grieser is the founder and CEO of ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership & Workplace Performance and the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI). He is the author of The Ordinary Leader, and co-author of The Culture Question. Randy is a visionary leader who, together with a team of employees and trainers, has positioned these organizations to be two of the premier providers of professional development training in the industry.
Randy Grieser - Fall Conference Keynote

Randy gives presentations on culture, leadership and management principles to a wide range of audiences in business, education, health, and government settings. He is passionate about sharing the importance of creating healthy workplace cultures, and believes leadership requires us to always be intentional about what we do and how we do it. Randy is a dynamic presenter who delivers insightful presentations that are engaging, humorous and informative.

You can get registered for the Fall Conference now by clicking here.