Advocacy in Action (1/13/21) - Session Update - Omnibus Package; Seclusion Legislation

By Alison Maley posted 01-13-2021 11:42

  

January 13, 2021

101st General Assembly Wrapping Up

The 101st General Assembly is quickly wrapping up their business before the 102nd General Assembly is sworn in. Both chambers worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning and are expected to finish their business before inauguration at noon Wednesday.

 

After Speaker Madigan suspended his candidacy for Speaker of the House, (D-Hillside) has emerged as the front-runner after endorsement by the House Black Caucus and support from the House Latinx Caucus. The House Democratic Caucus is meeting again Wednesday morning to hopefully coalesce around a final candidate.

 

Two major pieces of legislation have advanced in the last few days - the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus education package, and time out and seclusion legislation. See below for more details on both.

Education Omnibus Bill Passed Both Chambers

Late Monday evening the House passed , which is the final version of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus education omnibus bill. The bill will now be sent to Governor Pritzker for signature.

 

Changes to the bill in Am. 3 include:

 

  • Invest in Kids tax credit - Removes changes to the program. Previous amendments expanded the program to allow for funds to be spent on CTE programs
  • Whole Child Task Force Members - Now totaling 30 members, the following members were added to the task force: a member representing school districts in the south suburbs and collar counties, a licensed clinical psychologist, a member who represents a west suburban school district.
  • Educational Technology Capacity Reporting - Requires districts to submit to ISBE an annual report including information about educational technology capacity and policies, device availability for students, school-based access and infrastructure, professional learning and training opportunities, and documentation of developmentally appropriate computer literacy instruction in the district curriculum.

Items from first amendment that were of significant fiscal concern have been removed. Those items include:

 

  • Extending the School Year (15 additional attendance days; 5 teacher institute days) - This issue will be further studied by the Illinois P-20 Council.
  • Evidence-Based Funding Formula Changes - The Professional Review Panel will be tasked with ensuring the formula addresses racial equity and examining adequacy targets for school districts.
  • Dyslexia screening requirements.
  • Reading/math interventions in grades K-3.

 

Items in the final package include:

 

Curriculum and Assessments

 

  • Codifying the KIDS (kindergarten) assessment.
  • New graduation requirements:
    • Beginning with the 2028-2029 school year, requiring 2 years of a foreign language.
    • Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, requiring 2 years of laboratory science (rather than "science").
    • Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, students in grades 9-12 must complete one year of a course that includes intensive instruction in computer literacy, which may be English, social studies, or any other subject and may be counted toward the fulfillment of other graduation requirements.
  • Requires all school districts to ensure students receive developmentally appropriate opportunities to gain computer literacy skills beginning in elementary school.
  • Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, requires districts to provide an opportunity for students to take at least one computer science course in grades 9-12.
  • Review of social studies standards to be inclusive and reflective of all individuals in this country.
  • Creates an Inclusive American History Commission to review available resources to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the State and country, provide guidance for learning standards to ensure instruction and content are not biased to specific cultures, time periods, and experiences, and, review tools and support for professional learning. Commission members would include teachers, a principal, school librarian, school board member, and a superintendent.
  • Adds the history of pre-enslavement of Black people, study of reasons why Black people came to be enslaved, and the study of the American civil rights renaissance to existing Black History curriculum.

Whole Child Initiatives

 

  • Creation of a Whole Child Task Force to review training in restorative practices, implicit bias, mental health services, and SEL services, and make recommendations on anti-racist and trauma-responsive strategies and practices. Task force members include school administrators, a principal, and a school board member.

Diversifying and Growing the Educator Pipeline

 

  • Removes GPA requirement (3.0/4.0) for alternative educator licensure programs.
  • Makes changes to funding allotments for the Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarship program based on available appropriations.

Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Time Out/Seclusion Legislation Update

Following news reports of instances of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint in Illinois schools last November, ISBE developed new rules to govern the use of these interventions. The legislature has also worked on legislation to codify those rules in statute and task ISBE with developing goals and benchmarks aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating these interventions.

 

is the result of months of negotiations among special education advocates, school management organizations, special education cooperatives, and private special education facilities. The bill passed the Senate late Tuesday evening and is expected to be considered on concurrence in the House on Wednesday.

 

A synopsis of the bill is as follows:

 

Grant Program

 

Creates a grant program, subject to appropriation, to provide funding to implement school-wide, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed practices, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and restorative practices aimed at reducing the need for interventions such as time out, isolated time out, and physical restraint.

 

Third-Party Monitoring/Oversight

 

Allows (but does not require) ISBE to contract with a third party to aid in the oversight and monitoring of the use of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint by school districts.

 

Goals and Benchmarks

 

Within 90 days of the effective date, ISBE will engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders to establish goals to reduce isolated time out, time out and physical restraint within 3 years.

 

Each school board shall create a time out and physical restraint oversight team (including teachers, paraprofessionals, school service personnel, and administrators) to develop a school-specific plan for reducing and eventually eliminating the use of time out, isolated time out, and physical restraint.

 

Progress toward goals to reduce and eliminate will be measured by overall reduction in incidents of those interventions and total number of students subjected to those interventions.

 

In limited cases, and approved by ISBE, the reduction in these interventions may be measured by the frequency of interventions on individual students and the total student population.

 

School districts shall report to ISBE annually for three years on the progress toward achieving the goals and benchmarks established. School districts shall notify parents and guardians that the plans and reports are available for review. Plans must include actions to:

  • Reduce and eventually eliminate a reliance on isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint for behavioral interventions.
  • Develop individual student plans toward prevention of the use of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint, separate from a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.
  • Ensure that appropriate school personnel are informed of a student’s history, consistent with federal and State laws governing confidentiality.
  • Support cultural change including positive behavioral interventions instead of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint; effective ways to de-escalate situations; crisis intervention techniques as alternatives; and use of debriefing meetings.

If the school can demonstrate to ISBE that within the past 3 years the school has never engaged in isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint, and the school has a written policy prohibiting these interventions, they are exempt from these plans and annual reports.

 

 

Definitions and Regulation of Use

 

Definitions of isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint are consistent with ISBE rules adopted last year ().

 

Isolated time out, time out, and physical restraint may still only be used if the student's behavior presents an imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others, and other less restrictive and intrusive measures have been tried and proven ineffective, there are no known medical contraindications to its use, and the staff member has been trained in safe application of the intervention.

 

Isolated time out continues to be limited to situations if the adult in the room or enclosure is in imminent danger of serious physical harm because the student is unable to cease extreme physical aggression.

 

Unlike the current ISBE rules, prone (face-down) restraint is prohibited.

 

Incident Follow-Up

 

Following each incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint, but no later than 2 school days after the incident, the principal or another designated administrator, shall notify the student's parent or guardian that he or she may request a meeting with appropriate school personnel to discuss the incident.

 

(Previous versions of the legislation required the principal to convene 2 separate meetings within 2 days of an incident to debrief the incident with staff at the school, and a separate meeting with various school staff to debrief with parents/guardians.)

 

The meeting shall include the student, if appropriate, at least one school staff member involved in the incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint, the student's parent or guardian, and at least one appropriate school staff member not involved in the incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint, such as a social worker, psychologist, nurse, or behavioral specialist. During the meeting, the school staff, the student, and the student's parent or guardian, shall be provided an opportunity to describe:

 

  • The events that occurred prior to the incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint and any actions that were taken by school personnel or the student leading up to the incident;
  • The incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint; and
  • The events that occurred or the actions that were taken following the incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint and whether the student returned to regular school activities and, if not, how the student spent the remainder of the school day.

At no point may a student be excluded from school solely because a meeting has not occurred.

 

Information to Parents/Guardians

 

After each incident of isolated time out, time out, or physical restraint, schools shall provide the ISBE-prescribed form including a copy of the standards for use of these interventions; information about the rights of parents, guardians, and students; and information about the parent’s or guardian’s rights to file a complaint with the State Superintendent of Education and complaint process. (.)

 

 

Contactfor more information or any questions.

Illinois Principals Association

2940 Baker Drive

Springfield, IL 62703

 

| 217-525-1383 |

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