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As the legislature worked steadily this week in the Capitol through the hundreds of superfluous bills and issues that lay before it, attention was being paid to some of the significant matters regarding public education. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate worked through the week, with both chambers returning next week to meet Monday through Friday. Next Friday, April 27, is the deadline to have substantive bills considered on the floor of their respective chambers. An Alliance initiative addressing the problem of school districts being penalized for the under levy of property taxes under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), HB ...
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The Illinois General Assembly met its first deadline as all bills must have been considered by a committee by Friday. Inevitably, some bills will have their deadlines extended, but committee volume will reduce drastically in the coming weeks as legislators will debate bills on the floors of their respective chambers. The House of Representatives and Senate will both be back in session next Tuesday. BILL ACTION THIS WEEK The following bills passed the full House and will be taken up in the Senate at a future date: HB 751 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville) extends the sunset provision for retired teachers returning to teaching in subject shortage areas from ...
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After an extended spring break, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly will return to the Capitol next week to continue considering bills in committee. The House of Representatives is scheduled to meet Monday through Friday; the Senate is set for session Tuesday through Friday. Both chambers have set Friday, April 13th as a tentative deadline to move bills out of committees. The deadline is the first hurdle that many bills will cross on their way to becoming law. It also signals the start of a very active legislative schedule. The General Assembly has more session days scheduled leading up to the May 31st adjournment day than they have scheduled the previous ...
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To help you keep a handle on what you are responsible for, a group of committed IPA members and staff created  The Principal’s Calendar  (available for IPA Members). The calendar is broken down by month. At the end of every month we will be sharing out the reflection you should be considering for the upcoming month. The reflections will center around attributes outlined in the  School Leader Paradigm . The Principal's Calendar is sponsored by  Stifel.   This month's featured attribute is : Diagnostic:   Is adept at diagnosing educational problems, counseling teachers, supervising, evaluating programs and personnel, and developing curriculum. ...
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IPA is saddened to learn of the death of Linda Brown. Brown was the plaintiff at the center of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark court case the ended segregation in public schools. Brown died Sunday afternoon. She was 75 years old. In 1954, when she was just 9 years’ old, Brown’s father tried to enroll her in Summer Elementary School, which was an all-white school in Topeka. When the school refused her enrollment, Brown’s father sued the Topeka Board of Education. Four similar cases were combined with Brown’s and culminated with the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." Future Supreme ...
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2018 PRIMARY ELECTION WRAP-UP While the vast majority of incumbents were not challenged in Tuesday’s Primary Election, most of those that were challenged emerged victorious. Last year’s difficult votes on the state budget, revenue enhancements, and education funding reform resulted in many House Republican lawmakers drawing primary opponents heavily funded by outside interest groups. In all but one case (109th House District-David Reis, Olney), those Republican incumbents that decided to run for another term, won. On the Democratic side of the primary ballot, only two incumbents were unsuccessful in being nominated by their party for another term (8th Senate ...
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Hundreds of bills have been filed for the 2018 Spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. Below is a non-exhaustive list of just some of the school mandates filed that the IPA and the Alliance are monitoring and working with legislators to address.  Curricular Mandates HB 1252 / HB 4916 (Lilly)  – Requires that every public elementary school shall include in it’s 6-8th grade curriculum, at least one semester of civics education. HB 4346 (Jones) – A student may not complete the 8th grade or graduate from high school without studying Black History material and may complete this requirement through an online program or course. ...
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LEGISLATURE MOVES TOWARD BREAK The Illinois Senate was in session this week and continued consideration of bills in both committees and on the Senate floor. The House of Representatives was off this week and both chambers will be out of session for the next three weeks for the General Primary election and Spring Break. The House returns to the Capitol on April 9, while the Senate reconvenes on April 10. Lawmakers are then scheduled to work steadily throughout April and May. The legislative spring break is a great time for school board members and administrators to reach out to local legislators to advocate on behalf of local schools. During the next ...
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LEGISLATORS EYING PRIMARY ELECTION The Illinois House of Representatives was in session this week. The chambers have been convening in alternate weeks giving anxious members time to be home in their districts preparing for the March 20 Primary Election. House members will not return to the Capitol until April 9th. The Senate is in session next week. Discussions continue, both in public and behind closed doors, on the hot topics of school safety, teacher shortages, and the Fiscal Year 2019 State budget. But despite those most pressing topics facing public education today, lawmakers continue with the onslaught of proposals that would place new, burdensome mandates ...
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The Illinois General Assembly convened this week to continue consideration of bills in committee. Though dozens of bills were approved and sent to their respective chamber’s floor, high profile bills concerning safety and gun control took center stage. Several different bills were moving in both chambers, including bills to ban bump stocks, raise the minimum age to purchase certain firearms, and to license firearm dealers. The licensure bill, SB 1657 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) , was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for action. Multiple votes are still pending for the other measures.    The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) ...
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Please note that this information is provided only as general guidance on the topic of student protests and should not be construed as legal advice. Because every situation presents unique facts, please consult with your school district’s legal counsel before taking any definitive action. The March for Our Lives event is scheduled for Saturday, March 24th. This event encourages students to march in Washington, DC and in other cities. More information can be found on the event’s official website. IPA Guidance: This event falls on Saturday and should not interfere with regular school activities. School staff members who wish to participate in these protests ...
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Webinar Handouts FAQ on Assessment Participation Parent/Teacher PARCC Communication
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School Safety Resources

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ELN School Safety Courses Creating Mentally Healthy Schools Cyberbullying: 21st Century Problems and Solutions Bullying and Harassment: Helping Students and Parents Upcoming Administrator Academies Focusing On School Safety School Security: A Proactive & Holistic Approach It is of paramount importance to provide a safe learning environment for students, staff and visitors. Learn the most effective and affordable ways to improve school security and emergency preparedness. Benefit from strategies and resources on topics such ...
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SCHOOL SAFETY ISSUES TAKE SPOTLIGHT With only the Senate convening in Springfield this week, substantive bill action was limited, but a new bumper crop of bills was introduced by the Illinois General Assembly. The Alliance is tracking bills that impact all issues affecting our schools. Bills have been introduced on a wide variety of topics. Those posted to committee are being tracked by the Alliance and appear later in this report. Alliance advocacy for safe schools and safe learning environments is now, as always, in the forefront of legislative action. While no new legislation has emerged as of yet in the wake of the Florida school shooting, bills are expected ...
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To help you keep a handle on what you are responsible for, a group of committed IPA members and staff created  The Principal’s Calendar  (available for IPA Members). The calendar is broken down by month. At the end of every month we will be sharing out the reflection you should be considering for the upcoming month. The reflections will center around attributes outlined in the  School Leader Paradigm . The Principal's Calendar is sponsored by  Stifel.   This month's featured attribute is : Organized:  Plans and accomplishes things in a prioritized, orderly manner.   Associated Competency: Self-Management:  Monitors and takes responsibility ...
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PENSION COST SHIFT TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS A major component in Governor Bruce Rauner’s Budget Address today was a proposal to shift all normal costs of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) from the State onto local school districts. His plan would be to phase in the shift with 25% of the costs moved to school district budgets in each of the next four years. It is estimated that the first year cost could be over $490 million statewide. As the Governor stated that he would commit an additional $350 million to the evidence-based funding formula, he would then ask school districts for $490 million to be returned to the State. This obviously would result in a net ...
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AFTER PAUSE FOR BUDGET, BACK TO COMMITTEES The Illinois General Assembly took a brief timeout to listen to the Governor’s budget plans this week, then went back to considering new legislation in committees. After Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his Budget Address Wednesday, lawmakers took to their partisan corners and opined about the fiscal message. Democrat leaders quickly denounced the budget plan as unbalanced, unfair to school districts and State workers, and generally unworkable. Republicans mostly lauded the calls for a leaner budget, income tax rate reductions, and pension reform. However, even some Republican legislators joined the vast majority of ...
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BUDGET ADDRESS SET FOR WEDNESDAY Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address Wednesday before a joint session of the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. In the State of the State Address two weeks ago, the Governor outlined broad proposals with few details. Usually, these initiatives are fleshed out in the Budget Address. Rauner has pledged to present a balanced budget to the legislature, while at the same time vowing to roll back the increase in income tax rates that took effect this year. Most expect to hear similar themes from the Governor’s past legislative agendas and campaign platforms. These may include proposals for a freeze ...
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The following is a guest blog post from ACT Now: Afterschool for Children and Teens Now (ACT Now) is a statewide coalition that advocates for greater access to quality and affordable afterschool programs. We have just launched an afterschool map and database.  We saw that there was a need for a map because afterschool in Illinois is really fragmented.  Unless there is a direct connection, policymakers, community members, and out-of-school time programs do not always know where other programs are located. This makes it harder to coordinate the field, share resources, and advocate. Our afterschool map is the first statewide database for out-of-school ...
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COMMITTEE ACTION RESUMES NEXT WEEK The Illinois General Assembly will return to the Capitol next week to continue considering bills in committees. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be in session next Tuesday-Thursday. No legislation has surfaced as yet regarding another fix to the new evidence-based funding formula. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) last week stated that an additional technical change must be made to the formula before any of the new school funds can be distributed. BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK HB 1262 (Currie, D-Chicago) provides that a School Code mandate waiver request regarding tax rates, funds, ...
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