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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-04

Distributed via Email: February 18, 2011

The governor’s budget address Wednesday attracted all of the attention from legislators this week, and little other action took place. Committees did convene in both the Senate and House of Representatives, but few lawmakers actually called their bills for a vote.

The Senate is not scheduled to be in session next week, but the House of Representatives will convene and will face a full slate of bills posted for committee hearing.

GOVERNOR’S PLAN IS TO “IMPOSE” CONSOLIDATION ON DISTRICTS

Though nothing has been officially submitted in writing from the governor’s office regarding school consolidation, Governor Quinn’s plans are becoming more apparent. In his Budget Address on Wednesday, the governor said “Illinois currently has 868 school districts, and our fiscal reality demands consolidation. I am proposing the formation of a commission that will review the number of school districts in our state”. The governor states that consolidation will save taxpayers $100 million.

In an article published in the Springfield State Journal-Register today (Friday), a spokesperson for Governor Quinn remarked, regarding consolidation, “Yes, it would be something imposed by the state”. The governor’s plan, according to the spokesperson in the article, would be to have no more than 300 school districts in the State and that they would “draw new school boundaries in much the same way as the General Assembly draws legislative district boundaries”. An average district would have 30,000-35,000 people.

As to the reported savings of the consolidation plan, the spokesperson in the article claimed that the $100 million was based on “an analysis of the most lucrative school administrators’ salaries and eliminating them”.

The Alliance is opposed to any proposal or legislation imposing mandatory consolidation. Both the IASA and the IASB have clear position statements that state that any school district reorganization must be approved by a majority vote of the districts affected and that no arbitrary pupil enrollment or geographical component be used to force consolidation.

That State Journal-Register article can be found here.

PUBLICATIONS COST SURVEY – PLEASE RESPOND

The Alliance has joined forces with other local government organizations to promote legislation that would lessen school district publications costs. HB 1869 (Mautino, D-Spring Valley) would allow local governments, including school districts, to forgo publishing requirements if the same could be provided on the school district’s website. In order to more effectively lobby for this legislation, Alliance members need to share information from their school districts.

The following information is needed to develop a cost analysis. Please take a few moments and return this survey to ccrowder@iasb.com. Thank you for taking time to provide this cost information.

School District Name:

County:

Superintendent:

Contact Person Name-Phone-Email:

Total Expenditure for required publications for FY 2008:

Total Expenditure for required publications for FY 2009:

Total Expenditure for required publications for FY 2010:

For FY 2010, please itemize the publications your district paid for and the amount expended for each:

Example of required notices: Statement of Affairs, Budget Notice, Prevailing Wage, etc.

Example of other notices: Truth in Taxation Levy Notice, Bid Notices, etc.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 4 (Forby, D-Benton) amends the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit Act. It allows for the EDGE tax credit to be available for taxpayers that are primarily engaged in the manufacture of inner tubes or tires. The Alliance opposed the bill – the first of many new income tax credits and/or expansions of income tax credits – and testified at the Chairman’s request. The Alliance explained that it is not opposed to specific, targeted tax incentives designed to spur economic activity, but that it must be a comprehensive approach. Currently, there are hundreds of bills introduced that would add new tax breaks resulting in a depletion of state revenues and until there is a specific tax plan, the Alliance will oppose all such individual tax credit bills. The cost for this one particular tax credit for one specific company would total $750,000 per year. The Senate Revenue Committee approved the bill and sent it to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 165 (Jacobs, D-Moline) extends the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in Moline from 23 years to 35 years. The Senate Revenue Committee approved the bill and sent it to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 189 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) provides that, with respect to any state statute or administrative rule that defines a general education classroom to be composed of a certain percentage of students with individualized education programs (IEPs), students with IEPs shall exclude students receiving only speech services outside of the general education classroom. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and sent to the House floor.

HB 287 (Flowers, D-Chicago) requires the formation of a legislative “Committee on the Retention of Students” and requires a school district to submit to the committee the names of all students determined by the school district to not qualify for promotion to the next higher grade and the reason for that determination. The committee shall review the school district's decision to retain with respect to each student and shall make the final decision regarding whether or not to retain a particular student. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was held in committee for further negotiations and amendments.

HB 288 (Flowers) requires the Chicago Public Schools to require daily recess for all elementary students. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and sent to the House floor for consideration.

HB 291 (Flowers) establishes a 3-year pilot program in the Chicago Public Schools to require an electrocardiogram (EKG) as part of the health examination for all student athletes. The bill was held in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HJR 4 (Dunkin, D-Chicago) extends the date by which the Recess in Schools Task Force must submit its final report to June 1, 2011. The resolution was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and sent to the House floor for consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 8 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

 HB 139 (Ford, D-Chicago), with the filed amendment, would require that any student that is performing below standards on state tests or local assessments for two consecutive years must attend a basic skills summer school program for at least 90 hours in reading and mathematics.

HB 1197 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) requires all schools to adopt a policy that prohibits a student athlete from returning to play without a physician’s authorization if the student athlete has suffered an injury and the coach suspects that the student might have a concussion.

HB 1204 (Howard, D-Chicago) requires school districts with a population of more than 150,000 to provide at least three weeks of instruction in violence prevention and conflict resolution in grades kindergarten through 12 th. It also requires school districts to provide in-service instruction for teachers to assist them in implementing the program.

HB 1216 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) establishes the School District Realignment and Consolidation Commission to make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly on the number of school districts in this state, the optimal amount of enrollment for a school district, and where consolidation and realignment would be beneficial.

HB 1239 (Ford) prohibits school districts from making available food containing industrially produced trans fat or use food containing industrially produced trans fat in the preparation of a food item served to students from any source.

HB 1240 (Franks, D-Woodstock) provides that upon request of a school, school district, community college district, or private school, any information obtained by a school district pursuant to provisions concerning criminal history records checks and checks of the Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database within the last 5 years must be made available to that school, school district, community college district, or private school.

HB 1243 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) provides that, in J. Sterling Morton High School District 201, as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma, each pupil must complete at least 40 hours of community service.

HB 1248 (Mell, D-Chicago) , for all school districts, requires all high school students to complete at least 15 hours of community service each school yearin order tobe promoted to the next higher grade level and to receive a high school diploma.

HB 1371 (Ford) establishes the School Choice Program. It provides that under the program the custodian of a qualifying pupil is entitled to a School Choice Scholarship to pay for qualified education expenses at participating nonpublic schools. The scholarships would be the amount of the per pupil foundation level in the School Code. To be a qualifying pupil, you must reside in one of the 20 zip codes that generated the greatest amount of state lottery sales in 2010. The lottery money would fund the scholarship program.

HB 1406 (Mitchell, R-Decatur) provides that, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, students in grade 6 must successfully complete at least one semester of a civics education course that includes the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments; the structures and functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; and the meaning and significance of historic documents, such as the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States.

HB 1414 (Jones, D-Calumet City) requires the ISBE to add, in its annual budget proposal, additional funding for the After-school Programs, Mentoring and Student Support (ASPMSS) line item.

HB 1415 (Jones) provides that if, after 2 years following its placement on academic watch status, a school district or school remains on academic watch status, then the ISBE shall direct the school board to operate its schools or the school on a full-year school plan upon expiration of its teachers' current collective bargaining agreement.

HB 1466 (McAsey, D-Romeoville) provides that beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, a school district must include in the age-appropriate curriculum topics regarding the appropriate use of electronic communication devices, including, but not limited to, the risks and consequences of dissemination and transmission of sexually explicit images and video.

HB 1467 (Franks) provides that a school board shall adopt a policy in which a student athlete under the age of 18 years who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.

HB 1509 (Eddy) with respect to the compilation of average daily attendance, provides that any student in grade 12 who graduates prior to completion of the grade 12 school year must be included in a school district's attendance figures for the whole school year, even though not in actual attendance because he or she has already graduated.

*All bills that were scheduled previously for a committee hearing, but have yet to be considered, will again be posted for committee next week.

HOUSE LABOR COMMITTEE
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 165 (Winters, R-Rockford) provides that prevailing wage need not be paid to workers engaged in the construction or demolition of public works when employed by or working on behalf of nonprofit organizations for educational purposes.

HB 1097 (Rose, R-Charleston) provides that a subcontractor under contract to a general contractor may elect to be covered under any policy of workers' compensation insurance insuring the contractor upon written agreement of the contractor, by filing written notice of the election, on a form prescribed by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.

HB 1111 (Tracy, R-Quincy) provides that an individual who, for the purpose of obtaining unemployment insurance benefits fails, to notify the Department of Employment Security when he or she quits, is discharged from work, or refuses work, or fails to look for work when required to do so, and reports to the Department that he or she searched for work, and thereby obtains any sum as benefits for which he or she is not eligible has committed unemployment insurance fraud.

HB 1342 (Tryon, R-Crystal Lake) provides that no employer shall be required to pay temporary partial or total disability benefits to an employee who has been discharged for cause.

This legislative report is written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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