Alliance Legislative Report (101-02) - 101st GA Moves Forward with Committee Work

By Alison Maley posted 02-01-2019 16:29

  
ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE REPORT (101-02) - 101st GENERAL ASSEMBLY MOVES FORWARD WITH COMMITTEE WORK

Next week, the Illinois General Assembly is expected to take up many important education topics in committees. The Senate is expected to address bills increasing the minimum teacher salary, student records, and charter schools among many others. The House is planning hearings on transportation, education licensure, and student transfers. A more detailed bill listing can be found in this report.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE APPROVES RESTRICTIONS ON THE DEFINITION OF A SCHOOL DAY

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 28 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) which would define a school day as five clock hours. The bill would emphasize seat time over competency based learning. Previously, Illinois statute defined a school day as five clock hours, but the law determining a school day was changed in conjunction with changes in the Evidence-Based Funding formula. The bill is now pending on the Senate floor. The Alliance is involved in further discussions on the issue with legislators and other education organizations.

The Alliance will continue to advocate for the current law that gives school districts the flexibility to address the needs of students, and allows learning to be a larger factor in determining a school day rather than the clock. Across the State of Illinois this week, numerous school districts exercised this flexibility by having E-Learning days. Even if school buildings were closed due to frigid temperatures, learning did not have to stop because teachers and students were able to use technology to continue the learning process.

E-Learning days are just one example of the areas of flexibility provided. The current law allows for scheduling flexibility that impacts transportation, dual credit opportunities, co-operative work agreements, and many other types of education that occur in different learning environments. Local flexibility also empowers local school districts to work with their staffs to determine what is best for their schools and their communities, whether that is the adoption of a time-based definition of a school day, a competency-based definition, or a hybrid definition.

Clock hours versus competency is shaping up to be one of the first major education issues addressed by the 101st General Assembly. It is important that school administrators and board members make their voices heard and tell legislators about the ways your school is utilizing, or is planning on utilizing, the current flexibility in the law.

With the new General Assembly just getting organized and a number of changes in membership, you may have new representation in Springfield. Click here to see who represents you in the Capitol and plan to contact them about your schools.

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 House committees, click here.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 5, 2:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 10 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) contains a burdensome, unfunded mandate that usurps a school district’s local authority and the collective bargaining system. It requires all school boards to increase the minimum rate of salary for teachers in the district, phased in as follows:
• not less than $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year
• not less than $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year
• not less than $37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year
• not less than $40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year
Each year thereafter, the minimum teacher salary, subject to review by the General Assembly, must increase from year to year by the rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

SB 116 (Weaver, R-Peoria) removes the caps on the number of charter schools that can be established in Illinois.

SB 117 (Barickman, R-Bloomington), for destruction of student records, transfers parental rights to students after graduation and provides that notice of destruction of records must be given to the student before they can be destroyed. The bill also expands the notice options.

HOUSE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 6, 8:30 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

HB 27 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) creates two residential vocational academies for 9th grade, for post-secondary education age students in Cook County, and another downstate county. It establishes the academies as state agencies, funded by state appropriations, private appropriations, and endowments.

HB 241 (McDermed, R-Frankfort) requires school districts, used as polling places on election days, to either close or hold a teachers institute day.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 6, 10:00 a.m., Room 413, Stratton Office Building

HB 18 (Flowers) includes in the curricular mandate for Character Education, instruction on having respect toward a person’s race or ethnicity or gender.

HB 52 (Flowers) requires ISBE to develop a program facilitating education in advanced manufacturing skills.

HB 191 (Ford) requires school districts to install and operate walk-through metal detectors, in all schools at their public entrances, beginning in Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

HB 208 (Flowers), beginning in 2019-2020, requires kindergarten through 12th grade instruction on the side effects of cannabis. It also requires school boards to develop a test on the use and side effects of cannabis that must be passed by each student.

HB 222 (Flowers) requires any school employee, or volunteer, to report any written, electronic or verbal allegations of sexual abuse or sexual assault of a student, by a school district employee, volunteer or employee of a contractor providing services to a school.

HB 223 (Flowers) requires ISBE to establish a hotline to receive reports of sexual abuse and assault by teachers, school employees or volunteers; requires schools to post the hotline number; requires the school report card to include data on the number of and pertinent information about allegations; requires suspension of employees who fail to carry out, or ignore, required criminal background checks on new hires, and; increases the penalties for willfully not reporting incidents of child abuse and neglect.

HB 246 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires schools to teach about the diversity of our society, including the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in society.

HB 247 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) re-establishes the five clock hours of school work per day, as a day of attendance for kindergarten through 12th grade.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING & CHARTER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 6, 2:00 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol

HB 40 (Flowers) requires each school board to provide free transportation to students possessing a valid school identification card beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

HB 190 (Ford) requires schools to connect at-risk students in need of academic support to either community-based or in-school academic support. Each school shall also inform parents of an at-risk student about those community supports.

HB 218 (Flowers) requires school districts providing summer school to waive fees if the family is indigent or the student is required to attend because of educational needs. Also, it provides for the waiver of tuition assessed by a school district on children whose parents are unable to afford them.

HB 254 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires school districts to report certain K-12 information about actively employed teachers, pupil-teacher ratios, class instructors, and class sections to ISBE.

HB 256 (Guzzardi) removes the requirement that student teachers videotape themselves or students in a classroom setting in order to be licensed.

HB 258 (Hoffman, D-Belleville), among many charter school law changes, removes provisions allowing the State Charter School Commission to reverse a school board’s decision to deny, revoke, or not renew a charter.

HB 277 (Reick, R-Woodstock) gives the state superintendent the authority to suspend or revoke an educator’s license if they negligently failed to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect. Further, the bill allows a school board to immediately dismiss an employee after determining the same negligence.

HB 278 (Welch, D-Westchester), among many changes to the Charter Schools Law: disallows future charters schools from entering into an agreement with a management organization; limits the compensation of the chief executive officer and principals of a Charter School, and; sets requirements and limits on Charter School expenses.

HB 279 (Guzzardi) provides a moratorium on the establishment of new charter schools in financially distressed school district, including new campuses of existing charter schools.

HOUSE LABOR & COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 6, 2:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 15 (Flowers) requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide six weeks of paid leave because of the birth of a child of the employee.

HB 20 (Flowers) increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour on October 1, 2019.

HOUSE PERSONNEL & PENSIONS COMMITTEE
Thursday, February 7, 10:00 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

HB 276 (Reick, R-Woodstock), for any new member of the Downstate Teacher and Chicago Teacher pension funds, revokes a teacher’s eligibility for retirement benefits, if, after an administrative hearing, it is determined that teacher has sexually abused a student.


ALLIANCE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT SCHEDULED

The Alliance Leadership Summit is scheduled for February 26-27, 2019, in Springfield. The event is a two-day institute on advocacy and legislative education designed for teams representing their local school district. Additional information can be found on the IASB News Blog by clicking here and on the IASA website here.


FREE SCHOOL SAFETY CONFERENCE OFFERED

A one day School Safety Conference, at no charge to local school districts, will be held on Wednesday, April 17th, in Bensenville. Presenting will be the Illinois State Police, the Aurora Police Department, the Illinois School Resource Officers Association, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Illinois School and Campus Safety Institute, and others. Topics include building safety, responses to a school crisis, the role of social media in safety, school bus security, and much more. More information can be found here.

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