Dr. Tony Smith
Illinois Superintendent of Education
State Board of Education
100 N. 1st Street
Springfield, IL 62777
Dear Superintendent Smith:
I am pleased to approve Illinois’ consolidated State plan under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to implement the requirements of covered programs under the ESEA and of the amended McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act). I congratulate you on this significant accomplishment.
My decision regarding Illinois’ consolidated State plan is based on input from U.S. Department of Education (Department) staff who reviewed and carefully considered the plan submitted by Illinois. Consistent with ESSA, the Department conducted a peer review of the sections in your consolidated State plan related to Title I, Part A and Title III, Part A of the ESEA and Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Act. The Department only reviewed information provided in Illinois’ consolidated State plan that was responsive to the Revised State Plan Template for the Consolidated State Plan that was issued on March 13, 2017. I have concluded that Illinois’ consolidated State plan satisfies those requirements. Accordingly, Illinois’ consolidated State plan that was submitted on August 30, 2017, warrants full approval.
In its consolidated State Plan, a State must describe how low-income and minority children enrolled in schools assisted with Title I, Part A funds are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field or inexperienced teachers, and the measures the State will use to evaluate and publicly report its progress with respect to reducing any disproportionate rates consistent with ESEA section 1111(g)(1)(B). In its consolidated State plan, Illinois describes a plan to collect the data necessary to meet this requirement by spring 2018. The Department awarded fiscal year 2017 funds based on the assurances Illinois provided to the Department on June 2, 2017. Prior to receiving fiscal year 2018 funds, Illinois must amend its consolidated State plan to provide the requisite description to meet this requirement. Please submit this amendment for the Department's review and approval no later than October 31, 2017.
Illinois’ consolidated State plan remains in effect for the duration of the State’s participation in the programs covered by the plan. Each State is responsible for administering all programs included in its consolidated State plan consistent with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements even if those requirements are not addressed in Illinois’ plan. Illinois must periodically review and revise the plan as necessary to reflect changes in the State’s strategies and covered programs. If Illinois makes significant changes to its consolidated State plan at any time, such as changes to its accountability system or long-term goals, Illinois must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval. The Department will provide information on the process for amending a State plan at a later date.
Please be aware that approval of Illinois’ consolidated State plan is not a determination that all the information and data included in the State plan comply with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is Illinois’ responsibility to comply with these civil rights requirements.
Please note that this letter, with Illinois’ approved consolidated State plan, will be posted on the Department’s website.
It has been a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations for Illinois’ approved consolidated State plan. Thank you for the important work that you and your staff are doing to support the transition to the ESSA and most importantly to lead Illinois’ students to achieve at high levels. The Department looks forward to working with you to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
cc: Honorable Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois