LEGISLATORS EYING PRIMARY ELECTION
The Illinois House of Representatives was in session this week. The chambers have been convening in alternate weeks giving anxious members time to be home in their districts preparing for the March 20 Primary Election. House members will not return to the Capitol until April 9th. The Senate is in session next week.
Discussions continue, both in public and behind closed doors, on the hot topics of school safety, teacher shortages, and the Fiscal Year 2019 State budget. But despite those most pressing topics facing public education today, lawmakers continue with the onslaught of proposals that would place new, burdensome mandates on local school districts. More on the mandate barrage can be found here.STUDENT WALKOUT SET FOR NEXT WEEK
As has been publicized, there is a call for a national student walkout set for Wednesday, March 14, at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes. The goal is to commemorate the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting on its one month anniversary. Local school districts should be prepared.
More information can be found on this IPA blog
The Alliance has been working closely for years with the Illinois State Police on school safety issues. For local school districts to keep up to date on school safety and school threats, administrators can receive this information directly through the School Safety Information Sharing program from the Statewide Terrorism & Intelligence Center (STIC). You can learn more about STIC here
. BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
- HB 4235 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) provides that a waiver or modification of a mandate may not be requested from the section in the School Code governing tuition for non-resident pupils unless the area surrounding the school district requesting the waiver qualifies as a designated teacher shortage area. The bill was defeated on the House floor.
The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and were sent to the Senate for further consideration:
- HB 3080 (Reis, R-Olney), from July 2017 through June 2019, allows retired teachers to be paid for 120 days of work in a school district without impairing retirement status.
- HB 4242 (McSweeney, R-Cary), as amended to address Alliance concerns, requires schools to report certain information regarding employee and contractor severance agreements on the school website and to local news media no more than 72 hours from approval of an agreement when an employee or contractor has been found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.
- HB 4409 (Pritchard) revises the definition of school psychologist that holds a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.
- HB 4514 (Pritchard) provides that only individuals licensed and endorsed as a school counselor may use the title of school counselor.
- HB 5812 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) contains the legislative fixes requested by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to properly calculate disbursements for the Evidence Based Funding (EBF) Formula, including:
- for Property Tax Relief Pool Grants, requires ISBE to set a threshold for relief not greater than 1% of the EAV for a unit district, .69% for an elementary district or .31% for a high school district, and relief will be calculated based upon the total amount of reduction in the school district’s aggregate extension;
- for Special Education Cooperative withdrawal, provides that under EBF, the portion of the base funding minimum to be reapportioned to the school district may be distributed under the conditions in the withdrawal agreement;
- provides for funding for Pre-K English language learners;
- changes the term “normal curve equivalent” to a “cumulative distribution” allowing ISBE to determine how much a school district is able to contribute locally as compared to all other districts;
- designates alternative schools as Specially Funded Units;
- removes Specially Funded Units from Tier 4; for FY18, provides a modified calculation for enrollment numbers that they be taken by October 1; for FY19 and subsequent years, enrollment numbers will be collected in October and March;
- allows Special Ed Pre-K students to be counted in enrollment regardless of how many service hours are provided to them;
- provides protections for school districts that receive a dramatic drop in their calculated EAV;
- removes the request for proposal requirement for additional technology grants and includes these grants in a district’s base funding minimum.
The following bills were approved by House committees and will be sent to House floor for further consideration:
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEKSENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEETuesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
- HB 4247 (McSweeney) would disallow state agencies including ISBE from expending funds to hold a convention or gathering of personnel that would include school employees or contractors for the purpose of professional education, training, retraining or personnel development.
- HB 4495 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) creates two residential vocational academies for 9th grade to post-secondary education age students in Cook County and St. Clair County and establishes them as state agencies, funded by state appropriations, private appropriations and endowments.
- HB 4706 (Scherer, D-Decatur) makes the teacher “physical fitness and professional growth” requirements in the School Code permissive for substitute teachers.
- HB 4860 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) makes permanent the electronic-learning days program.
- HB 4870 (Lang, D-Skokie) requires school districts to authorize a parent or guardian of a student, who is a qualifying patient, to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus if both the student and the parent or guardian have been issued registry identification cards.
- HB 4872 (Lang), under the Workers’ Compensation Act, provides that when a patient notifies a provider that the patient is seeking treatment for a work-related injury, the provider shall bill the employer or its designee directly.
- HB 4908 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires all children entering kindergarten, second, sixth and ninth grades to have a dental examination.
- HB 5110 (Lang) requires issuance of a license as a clinical social worker, social worker, professional counselor, or clinical professional counselor to an applicant licensed under the laws of another jurisdiction if the requirements for licensure in that jurisdiction are substantially equivalent to the requirements in Illinois.
- HB 5464 (Feigenholtz, D-Chicago) imposes an insurance coverage mandate for unlimited benefits for inpatient and outpatient treatment of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions.
- HB 5561 (Swanson, R-Woodhull) provides that a public school student receiving a high school diploma shall have the right to wear a military uniform at high school graduation, under certain circumstances.
SENATE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEETuesday, March 13, 3:15 p.m., Room 409, State Capitol
- SB 2489 (Connelly, R-Naperville) requires a concussion brochure, developed by the Department of Public Health, to be distributed free of charge by schools to any child or the parent or guardian of a child who may have sustained a concussion.
- SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora) requires additional time each week devoted for physical education courses. Elementary school students must engage P.E. for a minimum of 150 minutes per week and high school students for a minimum of 225 minutes per week.
- SB 2611 (Rose, R-Champaign) provides that, upon submitting an application to the regional superintendent of schools, a school district may obtain a temporary door locking device for use on a school building. A school district with a temporary door locking device shall conduct an in-service training program for staff members on the proper use of the device.
- SB 2856 (Connelly) requires that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board conduct or approve a training program for school resource officers and that each school district create a training program on cyber-bullying, sexting, and sextortion for all school personnel.
- SB 2925 (Lightford, D-Westchester) requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to develop or approve a curriculum for a certified training program for school resource officers.
- SB 2939 (Holmes) provides that tuition, fees, and room and board costs shall be charged for students of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy who are not Illinois residents.
- SB 2998 (Althoff, R-McHenry) requires ISBE to develop a process for the college and career ready assessment that allows a school board to apply to use the nationally recognized and locally selected assessment option of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- SB 3190 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) requires a public university or community college, jointly with a high school, to grant dual credit to a student who completes a course under the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum package.
- SB 3201(Hastings, D-Frankfort) requires the school to notify the parent no later than 48 hours after discovery of a breach of security that results in the unauthorized release, disclosure, or acquisition of student information contained in a school student record.
- SB 3220 (Aquino, D-Chicago) provides that ISBE shall not approve a course of study under the Alternative Educator Licensure Program for Teachers unless it can demonstrate that there is a need for a particular type of licensed educator offered by the course of study.
- SB 3226 (Weaver, R-Peoria) requires ISBE to adopt rules as may be necessary to allow students of any high school in Illinois who are 16 years of age or older to participate in registered apprenticeship programs.
- SB 3236 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) requires that a school report card include the most current data possessed by ISBE relating to a school district's administrative costs.
- SB 3249 (Steans, D-Chicago) requires every elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in society.
- SB 3466 (Lightford) requires a school district to make reasonable efforts to provide ongoing professional development on the appropriate and available supportive services for the promotion of student attendance and engagement.
- SB 3536 (Collins, D-Chicago) requires that beginning July 2018, any publicly funded early childhood program receiving Preschool for All Block Grant funds or Preschool for All Expansion Block Grant funds shall collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success.
- SB 3538 (Collins) requires a school report card to include the most current data collected and maintained by ISBE on the percentage of students, by grade level, who have an individualized education program or a federal Section 504 plan and who are chronically absent.
SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEETuesday, March 13, 4:45 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
- SB2834 (Syverson, R-Rockford) provides that the Department of Human Services cooperate with and assist schools in establishing substance use disorder prevention programs and preparing curriculum materials for use at all levels of education.
- SB 2951 (Bush, D-Grayslake) requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to develop a Medicaid pilot program under which a qualifying adolescent or young adult may receive community-based mental health treatment. The program should allow for collaboration with schools and requires providers of the program to track rates of high school engagement and graduation for service recipients.
SENATE REVENUE COMMITTEEWednesday, March 14, 1:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
- SB 3003 (Sandoval, D-Cicero) creates flexibilities to allow more individuals to qualify to drive a school bus by allowing individuals who have had drug-related misdemeanor convictions and individuals from Mexico who relocate to Illinois to be eligible. The bill also provides clarity for compliance on criminal offenses that prohibit one from driving a school bus.
SENATE LICENSED ACTIVITIES & PENSIONS Wednesday, March 14, 3:00 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol
- SB 3242 (McGuire, D-Joliet) restructures the Homestead Exemptions section of the Property Tax Code separating provisions pertaining to Cook County and all other counties.
- SB 3073 (Schimpf, R-Murphysboro) requires pension systems to offer certain inactive members the opportunity to elect to receive an accelerated pension benefit payment equal to 70% of the net present value of their pension benefits in lieu of receiving any pension benefit.
- SB 3181 (Schimpf) allows a member to establish optional credit for up to two years of service as a teacher or administrator employed by a private school recognized by ISBE.