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Logo | Illinois Agrivultural Education

FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

EZ Records is a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) record-keeping system designed to keep SAE program records, FFA participation, leadership activities, skills learned, and enterprise efficiencies. .

Listserv Messages

Harley Hepner
Illinois State Board of Education
Principal Consultant, Agricultural Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777
(217) 524-4832
(217) 782-0710 fax
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Gov Budget Recom., Critical Shortage Area, ISBE Staffing, Checking Grant and Payment Status, IFG

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  1. Governor’s Budget Address – Ag Ed Line Item
  2. FY17 Incentive Funding Grant (IFG) Update
  3. ISBE Critical Shortage Area
  4. ISBE Staffing Positions
  5. Checking Grant Status in IWAS
  6. Checking for District’s Receipt of Grant Funds


I hope all of you had a wonderful National FFA Week and celebrated the value that the Smith Hughes Act (100th Anniversary) has created through Career and Technical Education classes.

Governor’s Budget Address – Ag Ed Line Item

The Governor gave his budget address recently. In the Governor’s proposed budget for FY18, within the Illinois State Board of Education budget both the Agricultural Education and the Career and Technical Education line items were recommended at level funding.  The Governor’s plan will go to the General Assembly for their input and final passage of the FY18 state budget.  You can see the Governor’s budget recommendations for ISBE at this link.

FY17 Incentive Funding Grant (IFG) Update

For FY17, the Incentive Funding Grant end date is June 30, 2017 and all funds must be spent by this date.  The amendment due date is April 30 to allow for the processing of grants before teachers complete the school year.  Please monitor your expenditures and communicate with the business office to ensure the entire allocation is spent.

ISBE Critical Shortage Area

The Illinois State Board of Education received notification from the U.S. Department of Education regarding their acceptance of various identified critical shortage areas for teachers in Illinois.  Among those areas are the Career and Technical Education program areas including Agricultural Education.  This designation can open opportunities for various aid and loan forgiveness options for teachers in these areas.

ISBE Staffing Positions

The College and Career Readiness Division at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has open positions in various Career and Technical Education programs.  See the link for more information on qualifications and how to apply.  I would also like to congratulate Dora Welker who retired as the Division Administrator from ISBE on February 28.  She had over 24+ years of service to Career and Technical Education in Illinois.  To date, no one has been identified to fill this role.

Checking Grant Status in IWAS

If your FY17 Incentive Funding Grant (IFG) has been returned or if for some reason it is not currently ‘final approved’, then please submit your grant budget application asap.  You can always check the status of your grant.  There are several ways that you can tell if your Incentive Funding Grant (IFG) application or amendment has been approved so funds can be spent.

  1. You can access your grant through the ‘System Listing’ menu (in IWAS).  Once you click on the ‘Agricultural Education Incentive’ link, then you will see your grant choices.  One of the columns in the table listing the original budget and any amendments should be titled ‘Status.’  If the status for the original or amended application you submitted says:
    1. ‘Final approved’, then your application was approved. 
    2. Submitted to ISBE’, then it is in the queue to review.  
    3. Returned for Changes”, then you will need to open the grant to revise and re-submit according to the Review Checklist.
    4. Not Submitted’, then you need to follow-up within your district to see where the grant application is and contact them to move it forward. One can view the 'Application History' tab in the budget application on IWAS to see where it currently resides.
  2. When you set up your IWAS account, if you entered your email address as suggested, then that email address should receive an automatic notice from the IWAS system once the amendment is approved. 
  3. If you did not enter your email address or did not set it to send you emails, then the automatic approval message the IWAS system sends out will be in your ‘inbox messages’ on the IWAS home page.

Checking for District’s Receipt of Grant Funds

Many ask if the state payment has arrived yet to their district or not for the Incentive Funding Grant.  Funds will be vouchered by ISBE according to the Payment Schedule in the grant.  The Comptroller in turn will pay the voucher.  Currently, the Comptroller is several months behind in its payments of state funds/vouchers.  This would also apply for any other state grant your institution may receive.  You can check the status of your payment for grants anywhere you have internet access.  The steps to find this information are listed below.

1.     Go to and click on the ‘System Quick Links’ link at the top of the page and then click on the drop-down link titled ‘FRIS Inquiry.’

2.     In the ‘Search Info’ box, be sure the correct project or fiscal year is showing.  There is also a cell titled ‘Contains”.  Type in your school name or RCDT code and hit enter or click on ‘Display Projects’.  The RCDT code is the most reliable as some schools have similar names or go by a district number instead of a name.  Note:  RCDT code can be found either at the top of the IFG budget application or on the ‘System Listing’ page.  On the ‘System Listing’ page to the right of the grant titled ‘Agricultural Education Incentive’ there is an icon that looks like a head.  Click on it to see your IWAS account profile information which contains your district’s RCDT code.  You will need to enter it with no dashes or spaces between the numbers.

3.     Find program number 3235 (Agricultural Education) and click on the number which takes you to a project summary.

4.     Scroll down to the last category titled ‘Payment Schedule’ and click on the link ‘click for detail’.

5.     This screen will show you the date(s) your grant payment was scheduled to be paid, the amount scheduled to date (it may not be the total of your grant if you have payments scheduled in more than one month), the date it was vouchered at ISBE, and the date it was processed by the comptroller which means the funds have been sent to the district.  If there is no date in a particular column, then you know where your grant payment is waiting.

While payments are delayed, there is an appropriation for these state funds for FY17 so grant vouchered funds will flow to the district when the Comptroller is able to make the payments.

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