School Arrest Limitations

By Advocacy In Action posted 03-28-2017 15:10


March 6, 2017

School Arrest Limitations

Legislation has been filed this year to limit school-based arrests for offenses that occur on school grounds, during school hours, in school vehicles, or at school activities or sanctioned events (including field trips), with few exceptions. 

SB 704 and HB 1779 restrict the ability of school officials and law enforcement to protect children and ensure a safe learning environment. The legislation allows students to commit multiple misdemeanors without the ability of law enforcement to intervene before, during, or after school. The legislation also violates the rights of crime victims as they will have no legal recourse to protect themselves. 

Click here for a fact sheet about these bills to reference in your conversations. 

Spotlight on the Statehouse


Last Tuesday, the Illinois State Senate deliberated on the Senate floor on some of the components of the “grand bargain” comprehensive budget package. A number of votes were taken and several bills were approved, including making appropriations for state government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 (SB 6), expanding gaming by adding six new casinos including one in the City of Chicago (SB 7), and providing an appropriation for Chicago Public Schools teacher pensions (SB 5). Bills regarding local government consolidation (SB 3) and procurement reform (SB 8) have also been approved by the Senate.

But like on Feb. 8, when a vote was taken on the pension reform proposal, a pension bill (SB 16) was again defeated on the Senate floor. This brought some question to the future of the “grand bargain” package, but Senate leaders vowed to continue with votes on the rest of the package on Wednesday.

However, when the Senate reconvened for session Wednesday afternoon, a noticeably frustrated Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) announced that no further votes would be taken as Governor Bruce Rauner had asked for further negotiations on bills left in the compromise package. Cullerton stated that “the ball is in his court now,” referring to the governor. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), who seemed equally frustrated, spoke on the Senate floor and stated that she is still optimistic that a budget deal could be completed.

Items left on the budget list include school funding reform (SB 1), revenue enhancements (SB 9), new state borrowing authority (SB 4), Workers’ Compensation Act reform (SB 12); a property tax freeze with some mandate relief for schools (SB13); and a minimum wage increase (SB 2).

The property tax freeze proposal has yet to be called for a vote in the Senate. The latest version reportedly included a two-year freeze on the property tax extension with a referendum option to extend the freeze for three additional years. No language has ever been filed on SB 1 – the school funding reform proposal – so no one yet knows what that new formula will look like.

Both chambers of the General Assembly will return to the Capitol this Tuesday to resume session.

Read more of the Alliance Legislative Report, including bills scheduled for committee hearings.




Heard on the Hill


(Post by Sarah Longshore, principal at Saluda High School in Saluda, SC) - If you’ve yet to join NASSP’s Federal Grassroots Network (FGN) because you’re not sure how it will benefit you, how you can contribute, or even what FGN is, I hope that learning about my experience will give you the clarity you need to jump on board.

First, the “what”: FGN is a community of school leaders learning from one another about the policy issues that are important to us and our schools. Moreover, it helps school leaders build relationships with their members of Congress for the purposes of informing them about how their decisions impact education in their home districts and states. As a member, you get a monthly e-newsletter highlighting recent changes in federal education policy, resources to help you become a more effective advocate, timely action alerts, and, most important, the opportunity to attend the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference.

Read more here.