ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE REPORT (101-17)
COMMITTEE APPROVES CONSOLIDATION BILL
On Wednesday, the Senate Government Accountability and Pensions Committee unanimously approved HB 3053 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) which contains procedures to arbitrarily reduce the number of school districts by 25%. The bill is now pending on the Senate floor.
Alliance members made an impressive showing in their opposition to the bill. 625 witness slips were filed in opposition to the bill – most of which were filed by school board members and administrators. Continued advocacy is essential, however. Even if you have already filed a witness slip or called your legislators, another call to your State Senator is needed. Talking points regarding the legislation can be found here.
Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to work behind closed doors on other major issues still pending. The Fiscal Year 2020 State budget, legalization of recreational cannabis, legalization of sports gaming, and a statewide capital projects bill are still being discussed.
OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK
The following bills were approved by Senate committees and will be considered on the Senate floor:
HB 190 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires schools to share information about appropriate or available community-based or in-school support services for at-risk students in need of academic support. These can include tutoring, summer school, mentoring, or academic advisement.
HB 254 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires school districts to report certain information about actively employed teachers, pupil-teacher ratios, class instructors by grade level and subject, and class sizes to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
HB 2084 (Welch, D-Westchester), as amended, adds to the discipline reporting required by ISBE: arrests made by law enforcement on school grounds, in school vehicles, at school activities, or school-sanctioned events, disaggregated by offense and final disposition of the arrest.
HB 2165 (Murphy, R-Springfield), for the high school graduation requirement of three years of math, requires one year to be Algebra I and one year to include geometry content.
HB 3606 (Martwick, D-Chicago), regarding student data privacy, contains a myriad of unfunded and/or unworkable mandates on school districts that would place enormous and expensive burdens on districts. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, after Alliance testimony a number of committee members requested that proponents of the legislation meet with the Alliance to try to address those concerns. Though some slight improvements are being made, after a series of amendments the Alliance will still oppose the final version because of some remaining burdensome new mandates.
The following bills were approved by House committees and will be considered on the House floor:
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.
SB 1952 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) would permanently eliminate the test of basic skills and allow student teachers to be paid. As it came over from the Senate, it also changed the 3 percent limitation on end-of-career salary increases back to 6 percent. However, a House amendment deleted the provision on the 6% salary limit. The amended bill was approved.
The following bills were approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for consideration:
HB 355 (Batinick, R-Plainfield) provides that a provider of professional development activities for educator license renewal may make available training on inclusive practices in the classroom that examine instructional and behavioral strategies that improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students, with or without disabilities, in a general education setting.
HB 423 (Scherer, D-Decatur), among other provisions, would temporarily end the test of basic skills as a prerequisite for receiving a teaching license.
HB 907 (Connor, D- Crest Hill) directs the Department of Human Services to create and maintain an online database and resource page on its website for mental health resources specifically geared towards school counselors, parents, teachers, school social workers and school support personnel.
HB 921 (Stuart, D-Collinsville) provides that if an educational support personnel (ESP) employee is dismissed as a result of a Reduction in Force (RIF) and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district.
HB 1472 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville) extends from June 30, 2019, to June 30, 2021, the flexibility to allow a teacher to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing his or her retirement status.
HB 1475 (Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon) provides that the definition of "school employee" may not be interpreted to require a school district, charter school, or nonpublic school to hire additional personnel for the sole purpose of the personnel to serve as a delegated care aide for students that have epilepsy or seizure-related occurrences. The student's parent or guardian is responsible for creating a “seizure action plan” with the student's school.
HB 1579 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn) provides that before sentencing a juvenile for a threat against a school building or school personnel, the court must order a mental health evaluation.
HB 1873 (Bailey, R-Louisville) doubles the fines for violations when approaching, overtaking and passing school buses.
HB 2605 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) adds licensure and training requirements for teachers who hold school support personnel endorsement for non-teaching speech-language pathology.
HB 2802 (Welch) extends the time for the regional superintendent to fill school board member vacancies from 45 to 60 days.
HB 2822 (West, D-Rockford) provides that the ISBE school report cards must include the most current data on the percentage of students who participated in job shadowing, the percentage of students who have completed an internship, and whether a school offered its students vocational training opportunities.
HB 2982 (Swanson, R-Woodhull) provides that if a criminal history records check or check of other offender databases is performed by a regional superintendent for an applicant seeking employment as a substitute teacher with a school district, the regional superintendent may disclose to ISBE whether the applicant has been issued a certificate based on those checks.
HB 3462 (Bristow, D-Alton) allows a school district to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on hunting education that includes instruction on hunting safety.
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK
HOUSE REVENUE & FINANCE COMMITTEE
Monday, May 20, 4:00 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol
SJRCA 1 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) proposes to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for graduated income tax rates. The Constitution currently prohibits anything but a flat rate for all taxpayers.
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 21, 2:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
HB 2627 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) prohibits a student under the age of 18 to be questioned or detained at a school site in connection with criminal charges or allegations without the presence of the student’s parent or guardian. A student 18 years of age or older may request the presence of a parent or guardian and must be notified of that right.
SENATE CRIMINAL LAW COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 21, 5:01 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol
HB 160 (Flowers) provides that enhanced penalties for delivering cannabis in a school or on school property does not apply to a violation that occurs on the grounds of a building that is designated as a school but no longer operational.