ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE REPORT (101-11) ALLIANCE INITIATIVES PASS IN BOTH CHAMBERS
With the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate now having passed the deadline in which the majority of committee work will take place, focus will now turn to the chamber floor. In fact, some bills are already moving forward in the General Assembly that impact schools. Two Alliance initiatives were approved, SB 1712 and HB 2802.
- SB 1712 (Koehler, D-Peoria) exempts from disclosure a public body's credit card numbers, debit card numbers, bank account numbers, Federal Employer Identification Number, security code numbers, passwords, and similar account information. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House for further consideration.
- HB 2802 (Welch, D-Westchester) would give school boards an additional 15 days to fill school board vacancies. Current law only allows 45 days and the additional days would give more time to seek applications and conduct interviews for the vacant position. The bill was approved by the House and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration.
SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION PLAN APPROVED BY THE HOUSE
House Bill 3053 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) was approved by the House this week. It creates the School District Efficiency Commission and requires the commission to make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on the number of school districts in this State with the goal of reducing the number of school districts by 25 percent, the optimal amount of enrollment for a school district, and where reorganization and realignment of school districts would be beneficial in this State. The commission would consist of 20 members, and by a majority vote of its members, would have the ability to put consolidation proposals on the ballot all across Illinois. The Alliance will continue to actively engage in attempting to amend the proposal as it heads to the Senate.
BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
The following bills were approved by the full House and will be taken up in the Senate at a future date:
HB 355 (Batinick, R-Plainfield) provides that a provider of professional development activities for educator license renewal, may make available training on inclusive practices as an option provided by approved providers, training on inclusive practices in the classroom that examine instructional and behavioral strategies that improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students.
HB 1559 (Hernandez, E., D-Cicero) defines "media literacy" and provides that, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, every public high school may include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy.
HB 2124 (Welch) provides that a public body may hold a closed meeting to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees, specific independent contractors, or specific volunteers of the public body or legal counsel for the public body
HB 2265 (Lilly, D-Oak Park) requires every public elementary school to include in its 6th, 7th, or 8th grade curriculum at least one semester of civics education.
HB 2266 (Halpin, D-Rock Island) provides that within 60 days following the creation or dissolution of a unit of local government or school district, each county clerk shall provide to the Comptroller information for the local government and school district registry.
HB 2868 (Scherer, D-Decatur) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop a work-based learning database to help facilitate relationships between school districts and businesses and expand work-based learning in this State.
HB 3363 (Caulkins, R-Decatur) removes the exception for a school district not to have to employ a superintendent.
The following bills were approved by the full Senate and will be taken up in the House at a future date:
SB 28 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) would reinstate the five clock-hour provision. Current law gives school districts the flexibility to address the needs of students, and allows learning to be the main factor in determining a school day rather than the clock.
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.
SB 1250 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) requires a school district, to permit a students to self-administer medications for diagnosed ailments with certain requirements. It also requires schools to adopt emergency action plans for students who self-administer medications.
SB 1698 (Martinez, D- Chicago) provides that any open meeting of the board of trustees of a retirement system or pension fund or any committee established by a retirement system or pension fund must be broadcasted to the public and maintained in real-time on the retirement system's or pension fund's website using a high-speed Internet connection.
SB 1901 (Weaver, R-Peoria) changes provisions concerning the license renewal fee for an Educator License with Stipulations with a paraprofessional educator endorsement and when candidates must pass the teacher performance assessment.
The following bills were approved by a committee and moved to the chamber floor:
HB 18 (Flowers, D-Chicago) includes in the curricular mandate for Character Education, instruction on having respect toward a person’s race or ethnicity or gender.
HB 208 (Flowers) provides that a school's comprehensive health education program must include instruction on the medical and legal ramifications of cannabis use. Makes technical corrections.
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 424 (Hernandez, E.) requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to establish the criteria, standards, and competencies for a bilingual language interpreter who attends an individualized education program meeting to assist a parent who has limited English proficiency.
HB 1561 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) requires all school boards to develop threat assessment protocols and to create threat assessment teams. It also requires that the threat assessment protocol be a public document and be posted on the school district's website. Additionally, it allows counties to impose a tax to be used exclusively for school facility purposes, school resources officers, or mental health professionals.
HB 2056 (Parkhurst, R-Kankakee) requires all applicants completing Illinois-approved teacher education programs to pass ISBE’s recognized test of basic skills. If an applicant completing a teacher education program fails the test of basic skills the first time he or she takes the test, the applicant may complete a full school year of student teaching or of an internship instead of being required to pass the test.
HB 2084 (Welch) changes the requirements for school discipline plan submissions. It establishes a Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments grant program and requires the ISBE and participating schools to issue yearly reports on results of the program.
HB 2165 (Murphy, R-Springfield), for high school graduation requirements, removes the requirement that states one year of the three year mathematics requirement to be Algebra I.
HB 2188 (Manley, D-Romeoville) requires the social and emotional screening in a child’s health exam to include questions that pertain to the mental issues of the child’s family or any other matter that could impact the child’s future mental health.
HB 2234 (Harper, D-Chicago) includes provisions restricting the flexibility of school districts to provide physical education, including: requiring that at least 150 minutes of P.E. be provided weekly for each elementary school pupil and 225 minutes for each middle school, junior high school, or high school pupil; limiting P.E. waivers to remain in effect for no more than two years (currently five years) limits and be renewed no more than two times.
HB 2258 (Welter, R-Morris) adds speech as an option under the graduation requirements section that includes one year of music, art, foreign language, sign language, or vocational education.
HB 2263 (Lilly) provides that beginning in 6th grade, students should be introduced to the importance of developing and applying a work ethic under the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness program.
HB 2272 (Ramirez, D-Chicago) amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code to provide that the governing bodies of contract schools are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act.
HB 2485 (Severin, R-Marion) allows a school board to publish a notice that the district's annual statement of affairs is available on the ISBE website and in the district's main administrative office, instead of requiring a summary of the statement of affairs to be published in a newspaper.
HB 2609 (Ford, D-Chicago) creates the Office of School Safety within ISBE and requires the Office to create a grant program for expenditures related to improving school safety.
HB 2830 (Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove) prohibits an employer from terminating an employee because of absence due to attendance at a school conference, behavioral or academic meeting.
HB 2840 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) requires each school board to appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison to facilitate enrollment and transfer of records of students in the legal custody of Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
HB 2932 (Smith, D-Chicago) provides that an applicant seeking a Professional Educator License or an Educator License with Stipulations who holds a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is not required to pass a test of basic skills.
HB 3086 (Lilly) requires school boards to either connect at-risk students with anger management classes offered in the community or conduct their own anger management classes for at-risk students.
HB 3096 (Hernandez, E.) provides that a referendum to increase the district's aggregate extension may be submitted to the voters.
HB 3304 (Crespo) provides that when a mandated reporter within a school has knowledge of an alleged incident of child abuse or neglect, the reporter shall call DCFS hotline immediately after obtaining information and no school personnel shall conduct an investigation until certain circumstances occur and they contact any Children's Advocacy Center in the county.
HB 3305 (Crespo) creates the Make Sexual Abuse Fully Extinct Task Force to address issues concerning the sexual abuse of students in school-related settings.
HB 3432 (Lilly) identifies the contents of a trauma kit and allows school districts to maintain a kit at each school of the district for bleeding emergencies. It also allows the training to be online and provides for immunity from civil liability for use or non-use of the trauma kit.
HB 3479 (Crespo) requires a check of the Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database by the school district or regional superintendent once for every five years an applicant remains employed by a school district.
HB 3638 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires the ISBE to adopt a model curriculum for teaching Vietnamese and Laotian American refugee experience and Cambodian genocide for K-12 grade students.
HB 3652 (Edly-Allen, D-Libertyville) requires school counselors to discuss post-secondary education options, including 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges and vocational schools with students.
HB 3687 (Harper) provides that upon commencement of a prosecution for a sex offense against a person known to be an employee of a school, the State's Attorney shall immediately provide the superintendent of schools or school administrator that employs the employee with a copy of the complaint, information, or indictment.
BILLS AND ISSUES SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK
With the House and Senate committee deadlines having passed, bills being approved in their chamber of origin will now be taken up in the opposite chamber. In addition, any amendments to bills will be heard in committee each week but only need a one-hour notice for the committee to be called to consider these new changes. Therefore, committees will be held on an as-needed basis until April 12th when both chambers have a deadline to take floor action.