Advocacy in Action (5/31/21) - Session Wrapping Up

By Advocacy In Action posted 06-01-2021 15:29


May 31, 2021


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General Assembly Winding Down; Budget Emerges


With adjournment scheduled for May 31 at midnight, the Illinois General Assembly is winding down their work today. Action on a FY 2022 budget, budget implementation legislation, and other issues still need to be finalized.  School legislation of note that has passed both chambers are listed below.


Senate Bill 2800 contains the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. Highlights include:


  • $1.8 million for Principal Mentoring and Recruitment
  • $6.3 million for Regional Safe Schools
  • $11.5 million for Truants' Alternative and Optional Education Program
  • $43 million for Career and Technical Education 
  • $350 million to support Evidence Based Funding


Stay tuned to upcoming Advocacy in Action reports for final adjournment actions. 

Bills Passed Both Houses


House Bill 234 - Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, every public high school may include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy. 


Senate Bill 633 - As amended, requires that data on the number of incidents of violence that occurred on school grounds or during school-related activities that resulted in an out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or removal to alternative school to be reported on the Illinois School Report Card beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.


Senate Bill 814 - Supports implementation of new teacher and principal mentoring programs, and allows organizations including IPA, regional offices of education, higher education institutions, and school districts to be eligible to serve as potential principal mentoring providers. 


Senate Bill 2088 - Requires the Whole Child Task Force to recommend legislation, policies, and practices to prevent learning loss in students during periods of suspension and expulsion, including remote instruction.


House Bill 3272 - Requires a school board to adopt written policies related to absences and missed homework or classwork assignments as a result of or related to a student's pregnancy.


Senate Bill 817 - As amended, non-public schools and school districts must not include or apply uniform policies or dress codes to hairstyles, including hairstyles historically associated with race, ethnicity, or hair texture, including protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists. Such hairstyles shall not be prohibited in non-public or public schools. 


House Bill 219 - Makes changes concerning time out and physical restraint in the public schools. The bill was further amended to prohibit prone restraint after the 2021-2022 school year. 


Senate Bill 654 - As amended, requires daily play time for supervised, unstructured, child-directed play for all students in kindergarten through grade 5. For any school day 5 clock hours in length, play time must be at least 30 minutes and for any day less than 5 clock hours, the total time allotted must be at least 1/10th of an attendance day. The bill prohibits withholding play time as a disciplinary or punitive action, except when a student's participation poses an immediate threat to the safety of the student or others. 


Senate Bill 808 - Prohibits a student teacher candidate from being required to submit test materials by video submission for the teacher performance assessment approved by ISBE. 


House Bill 18 - Allows teachers in contractual service whose performance is rated as either "excellent" or "proficient" may be evaluated at least once in the course of every 3 years (rather than once every 2 years). 


House Bill 40 - Allows students with disabilities to receive continued public school education through the end of the school year, if the student's 22nd birthday occurs during the school year. 


Senate Bill 1577 - Allows "mental or behavioral health of the student" as valid cause for absence for up to 5 school days without a medical note. After the second mental health day used, a student may be referred to appropriate school support personnel. 


House Bill 597 - Requires school districts to provide contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line on the back of student identification cards, or on its website. 


House Bill 3281 - Allows public high schools to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction about the process of naturalization, including content from the naturalization test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 


Senate Bill 818 - Includes required course material and instruction for classes that teach comprehensive personal health and safety, and comprehensive sexual health education. These classes remain permissive for schools and districts to offer. More information here


House Bill 24 - Provides that sex education course material and instruction in grades 6 through 12 must include an age-appropriate discussion on sexting; defines "sexting".


House Bill 120 - Requires a school board to allow a student to modify their athletic or team uniform for the purpose of modesty or attire that is in accordance with the requirements of their religion or cultural values.


House Bill 160 - Provides that a pupil shall be excused from engaging in any physical activity components of a physical education course during a period of religious fasting.


House Bill 2400 - Prohibits law enforcement lockdown drills from including simulations that mimic an actual shooting incident or active shooter event; all lockdown drills must be announced in advance to all school personnel and students prior to commencement; drill content must be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate; and, lockdown drills must include and involve school personnel including mental health professionals. Schools must also provide sufficient information and notification to parents and guardians in advance of any lockdown drill that involves participation of students, and an opportunity for parents and guardians to exempt their child. 

Illinois Principals Association

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Springfield, IL 62703


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