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History of Incentive Funding Grant      
In 1986, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 84-1452 to revitalize agricultural education in Illinois. To support the Act, an appropriation of funds for the improvement of education in and about agriculture, K-adult, was incorporated into the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) annual budget. The Career Development and Preparation Division of ISBE administers the funds with advisement from the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) which is appointed by the Governor. The funds are allocated to meet the objectives of the Illinois Plan for Agricultural Education and Illinois First Through Quality Agricultural Education: A Strategic Plan for Illinois Agricultural Education. The allocation supports local program improvement, curriculum development, teacher inservice, field support services, program coordination, pilot projects, and other important initiatives. All local education agencies (LEAs) offering approvable programs in agricultural education at the secondary level are eligible to apply for incentive grants. (An approvable program must be sequential, offering at least one orientation and one preparation-level course.) Program approval may be received by submitting appropriate descriptive information to the Career Development and Preparation Division through the appropriate Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) Program Advisor.

Contingent on the availability of funds, an amount will be allocated for incentive grants to fund local agricultural education program improvement efforts. These funds will flow to local LEAs through the ISBE IWAS electronic grant management system. The application is designed to allow districts to assess their agricultural education program offerings as they relate to the quality indicators outlined in the Illinois First Through Quality Agricultural Education (The Plan) document. These funds were appropriated strictly as supplemental funds and are not to supplant resources currently used from local, regional, state or federal sources.

The application is a measure of programmatic components currently in place. It is recommended that supplemental funds be used to update and improve the agricultural education program, not to maintain the status quo. Of particular concern to ISBE and ICAE is the need to expand and improve the content areas of agriscience and agribusiness. Production agriculture continues to be important, but should not be the extent of the agricultural education program.

It is important to note that it is not the intent of anyone to suggest that high-quality components and programs do not exist. The intent is to assist local programs in assessing their strengths and to provide additional resources to enhance total program quality. Because each district will qualify for varying amounts based upon their quality indicators, there is potential for some districts to receive less and other districts to receive more.

If you need additional information regarding the Agricultural Education Incentive Funding Grant, please contact the Illinois State Board of Education Agricultural Education Consultant, at

Historical Dates & Legislation of ILCAE, ICAE, and the Agricultural Education Line Item      

December 13, 1984    Agricultural Education meeting - ILCAE beginning  (100+ attended)
March 7, 1985             ILCAE was formed - 1st organizational meeting  (25 attended)
August 13, 1985          ILCAE Constitution adopted
November 26, 1985    1st Annual Meeting of the ILCAE
December 1985          First Draft of The Ag Ed Plan “Building Illinois through Quality Agricultural
September 19, 1986    Governor Thompson signed SB 255 into law Public Act 84-1452 creating ICAE
December 16, 1986     2nd Annual Meeting of the ILCAE
April 19, 1987              ICAE was organized
February 1987             The Ag Ed Plan “Building Illinois through Quality Agricultural Education”
November 14, 1987    3rd Annual Meeting of the ILCAE
May 19, 1988              1st Annual meeting ICAE
September 20, 1988   Agricultural Education Symposium - Designing the Future for Ag Education
December 16, 1988    4th Annual Meeting of the ILCAE
April 17, 1989             Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) coordinator first day

Senate Bill 255      

Senate Bill 255 passed by the Illinois Legislature and Signed into Law on September 19, 1986, by Governor Thompson.  creating Public Act 84-1452 and Chapter 122, Section 2-3.80 of the Illinois School Code which states:
            “The General Assembly recognizes that agriculture is the most basic and singularly important industry in the State, that agriculture is of central importance to the welfare and economic stability of the State, and that the maintenance of this vital industry requires a continued source of trained and qualified individuals for employment in agriculture and agribusiness. The General Assembly hereby declares that it is in the best interests of the people of the State of Illinois that a comprehensive education program in agriculture be created and maintained by the State's public school system in order to ensure an adequate supply of trained and skilled individuals and to ensure appropriate representation of racial and ethnic groups in all phases of the industry. It is the intent of the General Assembly that a State program for agricultural education shall be a part of the curriculum of the public school system K through adult, and made readily available to all school district which may, at their option, include programs in education in agriculture as a part of the curriculum of that district.

            A committee of 13 agriculturalists representative of the various and diverse areas of the agricultural industry in Illinois shall be established to at least develop a curriculum and overview the implementation of the Build Illinois through Quality Agricultural Education plans of the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education and to advise the State Board of Education on vocational agricultural education.”

House Bill 4986      

House Bill 4986 passed amending Public Act 84-1452 and the School Code on January 20, 2006:

“Provides that a school district that offers a secondary agricultural education program that is eligible for State and federal funding must ensure that, at a minimum, the following are available to its secondary agricultural education students: (1) an instructional sequence of courses approved by the State Board of Education; (2) a State and nationally affiliated FFA chapter that is integral to instruction and is not treated as an extracurricular activity; and (3) a mechanism for ensuring the involvement of all secondary agricultural education students in formal, supervised, agricultural-experience activities and programs.”

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