Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly were back in Springfield this week to take up legislation in hopes of sending bills to the Governor that would become law. While there was action on bills in committees and on the House and Senate floors, no public action was taken on a budget. With less than three weeks to go before scheduled adjournment, budget talks are still going on behind closed doors. With more available revenue than in years past, it would seem a budget agreement would be easier to reach this year. However, nothing tends to be easy in the current adversarial environment of Illinois state government. School board members and administrators are encouraged to advocate with lawmakers for making education the priority in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and provide additional new funding as required in the evidence based funding model.
Contact your State Representative and urge a NO VOTE on Senate Bill 486 and Senate Bill 2572
- SB 486 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) is pending before the Illinois House and needs input from school leaders. The bill would limit resources for school districts and other local taxing bodies as it makes changes to how assessment and taxation of solar energy systems are calculated.
By modeling SB 486 after Division 18 of the Property Tax Code (PA 95-644, Wind Farms), commercial solar farm developers would see a reduction in the real property cost basis, from between $500,000 and $2 million, to $439,200 per megawatt of capacity. Unfortunately, SB 486 attempts to go significantly further in limiting resources for school districts and other taxing bodies by setting a real property cost basis of only $199,000 per megawatt of capacity.
In its current form, SB 486 offers developers and owners of commercial solar energy systems preferential assessment and property tax treatment, in addition to the generous renewable energy credits they already receive, to the detriment of local taxing bodies and their constituents. SB 486 should be amended to reflect Division 18 of the Property Tax Code (PA 95-644), which provides a proven, uniform method for assessing other renewable energy in Illinois.
Please take a few minutes to contact your State Representative and ask them to vote NO so that negotiations can continue on this important, timely legislation.
- SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora) would undo the Physical Education flexibility that school districts were granted earlier this school year under the evidence based funding reform measures. Current law requires school districts to teach P.E. three days a week. The proposed legislation would remove the three days a week requirement and would institute a 150 minute a week minimum. The 150 minutes requirement is not flexible and does not account for weeks with fewer than five days of attendance. School districts would have to change schedules often to accommodate P.E. It would also force school districts to prioritize P.E. over other courses. Click here to share with your State Representative the possible impact on your local school district if this bill would become law and ask them to VOTE NO!
COMMITTEE ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
The following bills were approved by Senate Committees and await further action from the full Senate:
- SB 2312 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) appropriates $16 million for school district broadband expansion.
- SB 2346 (Lightford) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to work with the Illinois State Police to develop driver’s education course content that informs students of proper interactions with law enforcement during traffic stops.
- HB 4208 (Welch, D-Westchester) pushes to reallocate funding from Student Resource Officer’s (SROs) and law enforcement and use it for restorative justice, counselors, and psychologists. The Alliance continues to oppose this bill. Click here to contact your Senator today.
- HB 4226 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) requires schools to disseminate a brochure to any family whose child may have sustained a concussion.
- HB 4340 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake) requires school administrators to post notice of the human trafficking hotline in the administrative office or another location in view of school employees.
- HB 4346 (Jones, D-Chicago) requires each public university to offer a course studying the events of Black History and allows school districts and public universities to meet certain requirements by offering an online course.
- HB 4369 (Sommer, R-Morton) requires ISBE to develop and maintain a dyslexia handbook, make it available on their website, and update it every four years.
- HB 4442 (Gabel, D-Chicago) creates a three-year pilot project for a school district to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on parenting education for grades 9 through 12.
- HB 4657(Manley, D-Joliet) allows schools to teach a unit of instruction studying emotional intelligence and creates the Emotional Intelligence Education Task Force to develop curriculum guidelines.
- HB 4742 (Ford, D-Chicago) provides that, by January 1, 2019, the State Board of Education (ISBE) shall implement a program and adopt rules to allow school districts to supplement their substitute teacher recruitment for elementary and secondary schools with the use of recruiting firms.
- HB 4743 (Ford) disallows any employer from discriminating between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility.
- HB 4858 (Pritchard, R- Sycamore) provides that local school districts and community colleges may apply for and receive grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing.
- 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 4882 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) redefines several components of the Grow Your Own Teacher Program.
- HB 4908 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires all children entering kindergarten, second, sixth and ninth grades to have a dental examination.
- HB 5062 (Flowers, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to develop a program facilitating education in advanced manufacturing skills.
- HB 5136 (Slaughter, D-Chicago) provides that the PERA committee meet annually and also includes language exempting the RIF and PERA committees from the Open Meetings Act (OMA). It also allows collective bargaining strategy sessions to be exempt from the provisions of the OMA.
- HB 5175 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) increases the statutory minimum teacher salary from $10,000 per year to $40,000.
- HB 5195 (Greenwood, E. St. Louis) allows school boards to provide free transportation for any pupil residing within 1 1/2 miles from the school attended where conditions are such that walking, either to or from the school to which a pupil is assigned for attendance or to or from a pick-up point or bus stop, constitutes a serious hazard to the safety of the pupil due to a course or pattern of criminal activity.
- HB 5196 (Greenwood) lowers the licensure renewal fee for paraprofessionals beginning July 1, 2018 from $50 to $25.
- HB 5481 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires school districts to report certain K-12 information about actively employed teachers, pup-teacher ratios, class instructors and class sections to ISBE.
- HB 5588 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) changes references in State laws from the old version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind to the new version, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Additionally makes changes necessary to implement accountability changes included in the State Plan created as a requirement of the ESSA.
- HB 5770 (Conroy, D-Villa Park) requires schools to notify student and families that a student may be eligible to receive mental health services from the school district under a federal Section 504 plan.
- HB 5795 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) establishes a definition for truant students as a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause for more than 1% but less than 5% of the past 180 days.
The following bills were approved by House Committees and await further action from the full House:
- SB 650 (Connelly, R-Naperville) provides that certain notices concerning requests for mandate waivers may be made electronically.
- SB 3491 (Holmes), provides that a network plan shall not be subject to any fines or penalties for information that the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act requires the provider to submit that is inaccurate or incomplete.
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK
The following is a selection of bills of interest that are scheduled to be considered in committees next week. For a full listing of next week’s Senate committees, click here. For a full listing of next week’s House committees, click here.
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 15, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
- HB 4193 (Parkhurst, R-Kankakee), for special education impartial due process hearings, changes when the hearing officer must issue his or her written decision from within 10 days to within 10 business days after the hearing.
- HB 4658 (Manley) provides that, at least once every 2 years, a school board shall require in-service training of licensed school personnel and administrators who work with children in kindergarten through grade 12 to identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior in youth.
- HB 4768 (Wheeler) adds comprehensive language changes to what must be included in the newly elected school board members’ oath of office.
- HB 4799 (Harper, D-Chicago) requires schools maintaining grades K-8 to adopt a policy to make available education regarding the effective methods for the prevention and avoidance of traffic injuries related to walking and bicycling.
- HB 4860 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) makes the electronic-learning days program a permanent program.
- HB 5754 (Phelps-Finnie, D-Harrisburg) provides a school principal endorsement shall be affixed to an Illinois Department of Corrections school support personnel or teachers license with at least 4 years of teaching in addition to other requirements in the School Code.
HOUSE JUDICIARY- CRIMINAL COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 15, 3:30 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
- SB 563 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) allows police officers to request a mental health evaluation for anyone making a threat against a school.
- SB 2925 (Lightford) codifies the role of school resource officers (SRO) in schools, establishes a training process for SRO’s, and requires any law enforcement agency providing SROs to schools must certify they have been trained beginning January 2021.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION-LICENSING, ADMINISTRATION & OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 16, 8:00 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol
- SB 2345 (Lightford) requires ISBE to provide information for the school report card as to whether or not a school has participated in the Illinois Youth Survey.
- SB 2693 (Weaver, R-Peoria) provides that a college or university may not require a teacher applicant to complete the test of basic skills prior to the semester before student teaching or starting the final semester of an internship.
- SB 2838 (Link, D-Gurnee) provides that, by January 1, 2019, the ISBE shall implement a program to allow school districts to supplement their substitute teacher recruitment for elementary and secondary schools with the use of recruiting firms.
- SB 2900 (Righter, R-Mattoon) provides that if a school board fills a vacancy due to a lack of candidates for election in a congressional township in the most recent election, then the school board shall submit a question to the voters at the next election as to whether they approve at-large election of the board instead of mandatory board representation by area.
- SB 3236 (Manar) requires that a school report card include the most current data possessed by ISBE relating to a school district's administrative costs.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Thursday, May 17, 9:00 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building
- SB 2350 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) states that the law enforcement drill must address an active shooter and must be done when students are present. School personnel and students would participate in the drill with law enforcement observing.
- SB 2428 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) requires every school to provide a federally reimbursable meal or snack to a student who makes the request, regardless of whether the student has the ability to pay or owes money for meals or snacks. If a student owes money for meals or snacks that is in excess of the equivalent of the amount charged a student for five lunches, a school may contact the parent or guardian of the student to attempt collection of the amount owed. Further, schools may not publicly identify or stigmatize a student who cannot pay for a meal or snack or who owes money for a meal or snack such as the use of wrist bands, hand stamps, having the student sit in a separate location, or posting the name of the student.
- SB 2527 (Weaver) provides that a school board shall not adopt a policy limiting the number of dual credit courses a student may enroll in or the number of academic credits a student may receive from dual credit courses.
- SB 2541 (Lightford) requires the Department of Public Health to develop rules and appropriate revisions to the Child Health Examination form to address School Code requirements regarding social and emotional screening of students.
- SB 2654 (Hunter, D-Chicago) requires school boards to include information about influenza and influenza vaccinations in accordance with the latest recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it provides information on school health issues to the parents or guardians.
- SB 3015 (Koehler, D-Peoria) changes the definition of "asthma medication" to mean quick-relief asthma medication that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of respiratory distress.
- SB 3249 (Steans) would add to the current list of items to be included in the public school History of the United States curriculum the “roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State”. Further, the bill would require that all textbooks approved must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under that Act.
- 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 3507 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) requires a school district to allow a student diagnosed with a pancreatic insufficiency to self-administer and self-manage his or her pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy if the parent or guardian of the student provides the school with written authorization and there is written authorization for the therapy from the student's health care professional.
House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee
Thursday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. Room 115, Capitol Building
- SB 3003 (Sandoval, D-Cicero) provides that an applicant for a school bus driving permit cannot have been convicted of committing or attempting to commit solicitation or solicitation of murder; permitting sexual abuse of a child; presence or loitering of a sexual predator or child sex offender in or near a public park; aggravated battery; and use of a dangerous place for the commission of a controlled substance or cannabis offense.
House Revenue & Finance Committee
Thursday, May 17, 4:00 p.m. Room 122B, Capitol Building
- SB 2260 (Tracy, R-Quincy) provides that, in Fiscal Year 2018, each school district having Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund (CPPRT) receipts totaling 13% or more of its total revenues in FY 2016 shall receive an additional amount equal to 11% of the total amount distributed to the school district from the CPPRT fund.
- SB 2306 (Murphy) allows proration of the Veterans with Disabilities Homestead Exemption for the person qualifying for the exemption does not occupy the qualified residence on January 1.
- SB 2668 (McConchie, R-Lake Zurich), as amended, exempts from sales tax, selling food at retail to students, teachers or staff at a school.
- SB 3093 (Anderson, R-Moline) adds life care facilities to the general homestead exemption allowing the homestead exemption to be credited to the owner or resident of the life care facility or cooperative.
- SB 3197 (Mulroe) creates a homestead exemption of $5000 EAV reduction for police officers and firefighters with a disability.
IASB GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS STAFF PRESENT WEBINAR ON THE RESOLUTIONS PROCESS
As part of the new IASB Lunch and Learn series, Deanna Sullivan and Zach Messersmith recently shared the webinar, “How to Write an Effective IASB Resolution - Take Action to Make Change!” If you have been considering submitting a resolution, but have been unsure about how to do it, you can view a demonstration of the resolution process here. June 20 is the IASB Resolutions submission deadline.#AllianceReport