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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-06

Distributed via Email: March 4, 2011

CONSOLIDATION BILLS ON HOLD FOR NOW

Because of the response legislators received from school board members and school administrators, two bills stalled this week that would have forced school districts to consolidate. HB 1886 (Rita, D-Blue Island) was not considered in the House Counties and Townships Committee Thursday, even though the bill’s sponsor was in the committee room to present another bill. The committee chairman, Representative Pat Verschoore (D-Milan), admonished the bill sponsor upon addressing the committee, stating that the committee had no intention of calling the consolidation bill for a vote. The sponsor did not push the issue.

Members of the committee said that they received hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, and faxes from concerned school board members and administrators. The participation and grassroots action of Alliance members throughout the state is impressive, and appreciated.

Another bill, SB 1324 (Schoenberg, D-Evanston) , called for a commission to make specific recommendations regarding school consolidation, including which school districts should be consolidated. In that proposal, the report of the commission could take effect with the force of law even without action from the legislature, and with no input from local communities. SB 1324 was scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Executive Committee this week, but was not considered. Instead, the bill was placed in a sub-committee. A hearing on the bill will likely be scheduled in the coming weeks.

The Alliance is not opposed to consolidation, and will gladly participate in any commission, task force, or panel that is created by the legislature to study this important issue. However, any school district reorganization should be for the purpose of educational improvement and must have the input from the local school districts affected.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 12 (Cole, R-Lake Villa) allows school energy efficiency grants to be made available to special education cooperatives. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

HB 200 (Cross, R-Oswego) , as amended,requires school boards to adopt a policy that is in compliance with the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) protocol regarding student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury. Information on the district policy must be provided to student athletes and their parents and the IHSA must provide concussion information to the school district for distribution to coaches, athletes, and parents. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

HB 1071 (Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn) increases from $50 to $250 the maximum fee that a school district may charge to a student who participates in a driver education course. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor.

HB 1240 (Franks, D-Woodstock) provides that upon request of a school district, 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 or school district. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate.

HB 1466 (McAsey, D-Lockport) requires a school district to include in the age-appropriate curriculum topics regarding the appropriate use of electronic communication devices, the risks and consequences of dissemination and transmission of sexually explicit images and video. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

HB 1670 (Burke, K., D-Oak Lawn) requires elected officials (including school board members) to successfully complete the training program provided by the Public Access Counselor regarding the Freedom of Information Act. A certificate of completion of the training is provided for the elected official to file along with his or her statement of economic interests. The bill was approved by the House State Government Administration Committee and was sent to the House floor for consideration.

HB 1831 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) removes a provision that requires the educational services block grant to include the Bilingual Program. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for consideration.

HB 2086 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) provides that under no circumstances may an eligible student be denied participation in an alternative learning opportunities program based solely on the fact that he or she has been suspended or expelled from school. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for consideration.

SB 1643(Sullivan, D-Quincy) provides that a school district may increase its driver education course fee to an amount not to exceed $250 (from $50) by school board resolution following a public hearing on the increase. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

SB 1683 (Link, D-Vernon Hills) provides that no person may simultaneously serve in an elective office of more than one unit of local government if the units of local government may tax any of the same services, occupations, uses, or property. The bill was heard in the Senate Executive Committee but no vote was taken. It will likely be considered for a vote next week in the committee.

SB 1742 (Althoff, R-Crystal Lake) adds new information that the Chicago Public Schools must provide to the General Assembly regarding its use of block grants. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

SB 1744 (Luechtefeld, R-Okawville) regarding State aid formula provisions, removes provisions allowing days of attendance to be less than 5 clock hours on the opening and closing of the school term, and upon the first day of pupil attendance. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

SB 1794 (Lightford, D-Maywood) makes technical changes and “clean-up” revisions in the School Code. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

SB 1799 (Steans, D-Chicago) provides that the ISBE shall have the power and authority to sanction teacher and administrator preparation programs, maintain a system of certification testing aligned with ISBE standards, and establish a code of ethics for all educators. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

SENATE EXECUTIVE SUB-COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
Monday, March 7, 4 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 29 (Lauzen, R-Aurora) applies the “Tier II” pension benefits structure (that apply to TRS members who become part of the pension system on or after Jan. 1, 2011) to current TRS members as of July 1, 2011.   

SB 36 (Murphy, R-Palatine) creates the Pension Funding and Fairness Act. It caps state spending, tying spending to an inflationary index and requires a 3/5 vote by the legislature to increase state revenues. The bill requires that the full pension payment be the first appropriation made each year.  

SB 78 (Murphy) would repeal the income tax increase that took affect this year, rolling the income tax rates back to 3% for individuals and 4.8% for corporations.  

SB 105 (Lauzen) requires current participants in the state-funded pension and retirement systems (including TRS) to make a one-time, irrevocable election of one of the following: (i) remain in the traditional benefit package of the retirement system but pay a significantly higher contribution rate, (ii) become part of the “Tier II” benefits structure that apply to TRS members who become part of the pension system on or after Jan. 1, 2011, or (iii) opt into a self-managed plan.

SENATE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 8, 1 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 150 (Raoul, D-Chicago) , with the amendment, makes the bill substantially similar to HB 200 regarding school districts adopting a policy relating to concussions among student athletes.

 

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 8, 4 p.m., Room 409, State Capitol

SB 79 (Steans) e stablishes a State Charter School Commission as an independent state agency with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority.

SB 621 (Holmes, D-Aurora) has an amendment filed that allows for two or more school districts to jointly operate an elementary science and mathematic magnet school.

SB 1932 (Murphy) creates the Illinois School Choice Program, which establishes a private school voucher program for students in grades K-7 in the Chicago Public School system.

SB 2096 (Althoff) repeals School Code provisions regarding the Illinois Accessibility Task Force.

SB 2133 (Garrett, D-Highwood) removes a provision that requires the educational services block grant to include the Bilingual Program.

SB 2143 (Sullivan) provides that a reorganized school district or cooperative high school may use a school construction grant application that was submitted by one of the consolidating school districts if that application has not been entitled for a project by the ISBE and if specified conditions are met within the current or prior 4 (instead of 2) fiscal years.

SB 2144 (Frerichs, D-Champaign) provides that "school district" includes a public university laboratory school under the School Construction Grant Law. It provides that a university lab school that makes application for school construction funds shall be placed on the respective application cycle list following any Type 40 area vocational centers on the priority listing. The grant index for a university lab school shall be 100% of the recognized project cost.

SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 8, 4 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

SB 1931 (Pankau, R-Roselle) p rovides that a student may be transported in a multi-function school activity bus for any curriculum-related activity except for transportation between home and school.

HOUSE CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 8, 4 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 1130 (Sente, D-Lincolnshire) requires any organization that sets up, moves, or stores a movable soccer goal to follow all applicable guidelines for anchoring and securing the goal. It also prohibits the future manufacture or sale of a movable soccer goal that is not tip-resistant.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 9, 8 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 2924 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) repeals a Section of the School Code requiring a school board to establish and maintain a mailing list to mail to those persons who request inclusion on the list copies of certain school board information.

HB 2984 (Sosnowski, R-Belvidere) creates the Tuition Voucher Program Task Force to study the feasibility of a statewide tuition voucher program.

HB 2985 (Gordon, D-Peoria) increases the compulsory school age from 17 to 18 years of age.

HB 3022 (Chap LaVia, D-Aurora) contains the ISBE’s recommended technical changes to the School Code and to delete obsolete provisions.

HB 3040 (McGuire, D-Joliet) requires school districts to submit detailed floor plans and schematics of the schools to both the local fire department and the local law enforcement agency.

HB 3109 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) establishes a new list of criteria that defines an “approved alternative program” for bilingual education.  

HB 3115 (Gordon) subject to appropriation, authorizes the ISBE to provide annual funding to public school districts and State-recognized, non-public schools serving students in grades kindergarten through 12 for the purchase of secular textbooks.

HB 3138 (Eddy) provides that an applicant for a school bus driver permit must have no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control.

HB 3154 (Kay, R-Edwardsville) provides that the question to impose a school facility occupation tax shall not be submitted to the electors unless each school district that receives a disbursement of tax proceeds has legally bound itself to abate its taxes.

HB 3167 (Brauer, R-Springfield) establishes the Grow Your Own Educational Service Provider Initiative to recruit and prepare staff of non-profit social service agencies who also provide public or private school educational services to obtain a higher level of or additional licensure or certification.

HB 3171 (Cavaletto, R-Salem) adds the position of Assistant Principal in the School Code to assist the principal in the performance of various duties and responsibilities.

HB 3179 (Cavaletto) defines habitual truant as a student that misses 5% (instead of 10%) of the previous 180 regular attendance days.

HB 3185 (Schmitz, R-Geneva) creates the Glenwood Charter School as a residential charter school to serve low-income, behaviorally capable children from school districts throughout this.

HB 3223 (Senger, R-Naperville) requires that a remote educational program include the school term for the program, which may vary from the regular school term of the school district.

HB 3281 (Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove) provides that the gross disobedience or misconduct for which a school board may expel pupils includes that perpetuated by electronic means.

HB 3312 (Brauer) changes the definitions of “parent and community leaders” and “para-educators” under the Grow Your Own Teacher Education Initiative.

HB 3387 (Howard, D-Chicago) requires the ISBE to continue to convene the School Bullying Prevention Task Force after its initial report and monitor bullying in schools.

HB 3440 (Chap LaVia) defines “service animal” in the School Code.

HB 3464 (Pihos) changes the date of the teacher supply and demand report to January 1, 2012 (instead of 2011).

HB 3471 (Biss, D-Skokie) requires the ISBE to develop and maintain a uniform accounting and reporting system for the receipts and expenditures of school districts.

HB 3483 (Eddy) requires payment for a certificate application to be made to the Regional Superintendent of Schools, instead of the State Superintendent of Education.

HB 3487 (Morrison, R-Palatine) allows a school board to discontinue, by publicly adopted resolution, any instructional mandate in the Courses of Study Article of the School Code for which the school district does not receive a separate State appropriation.

HB 3488 (Kay) increases the days of actual pupil attendance from 176 days to 180 days.

HB 3489 (Cavaletto) requires completion of a 15-hour substitute authorization program approved by the ISBE before the issuance of a substitute teacher's certificate.

HB 3490 (Fortner) adds one more year of math and one more year of science to the high school graduation requirements.

HB 3491 (Cavaletto) requires the IASB to offer professional development and training to school board members on the basics of school finance, financial oversight and accountability, labor law and collective bargaining, ethics, duties and responsibilities of a school board member, and board governance principles.   It requires every school board member to receive at least 4 hours of professional development and training per year.

HB 3492 (Unes, R-Pekin) makes changes to the procedures and processes related to the PSAE exam.

HB 3539 (Morrison, R-Palatine) eliminates the “hold harmless” provision of the State aid formula.

SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 9, 9 a.m., Room 409, State Capitol

SB 1559 (Koehler, D-Pekin) requires school boards to only purchase or lease driver education vehicles that have been assembled in the U.S.A. (Vehicle Identification Numbers that begin with the number one, the number four, or the number five).

SENATE PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS COMMITTEE

Wednesday, March 9, 12:30 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

SB 1826 (Schoenberg) a uthorizes the state comptroller to create, administer, manage, and operate a supplemental employee deferral plan to supplement and enhance the retirement income of employees of public school districts and community colleges. The bill is permissive for school districts and employees.

SB 2156 (Brady, R-Bloomington) provides that every new pension benefit increase is contingent upon each affected pension or retirement system (i) having been at least 90% funded according to its most recent annual actuarial valuation and (ii) having received any required state contributions that have come due since the most recent annual actuarial valuation.

SB 2187 (Clayborne, D-East St Louis) extends, by 5 years, the period during which certain types of salary increases may be excluded from the 6% salary cap regarding TRS pension calculations.

SB 2279 (Raoul) extends the expiration date (by 10 years) for which a person who has retired under TRS may work for a TRS employer for 120 days, instead of 100 days. The provision to allow retirees to work for 120 days was due to “sunset” in 201. The bill moves the date back to 2021.

HOUSE LABOR COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 9, 1 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 2589 (Eddy) , regarding school board contracts for third party services, exempts contracts for the transportation of students from the requirements regarding comparable benefits, the list of employee job classifications and wages, and the 3-year cost projection.

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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