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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-10

Distributed via Email: April 1, 2011

BUDGET BILL APPROVED IN HOUSE

The Illinois House of Representatives Wednesday approved a preliminary appropriations bill that would set the amount of the education budget for Fiscal Year 2012. The bill, HB 3639 (Madigan, D-Chicago), which also makes the full pension payment for the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), passed the House unanimously. The bill is now up for consideration in the Senate.

The appropriations amount for K-12 education would be about $600 million less than was appropriated in the current fiscal year. The bill reduces the state education funding amount by about $200 million, but counts on about $400 million less from the federal government as no additional funds are expected out of Washington, D.C. as has been received the last couple of years (i.e. ARRA funds).

There are no specific budget line item breakdowns available at this time, so it is unclear exactly where cuts would be made in the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) budget. The budget bill contained a lump sum appropriation. Earlier in the week, the bill was presented in committee by House Speaker Michael Madigan and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) in tandem.

The House Appropriations Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education will be meeting over the next few weeks to decide the line item budget amounts for ISBE. Similar budget conversations will be occurring in the Senate. Though the State budget is usually the last issue decided by the General Assembly (usually in late May), budget leaders in the House have stated that they would like to determine the education budget earlier in the year in response to school district pleas. Last year, the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) delegate assembly and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Governmental Strategies Delegation adopted a resolution that calls for the Illinois legislature to determine educational entitlements and general State aid earlier in the spring to help school districts plan and adopt local budgets.

HOUSE HEARING ON SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION

The House Appropriations Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education convened a hearing Thursday to discuss school district consolidation and regional offices of education (ROE). Several Regional Superintendents of Schools testified in support of ROE budgets and services. Alliance lobbyists and several school district administrators testified in opposition to mandatory school district consolidation. No bill was called for a vote in the committee, but the discussions of school district reorganization will likely continue throughout the legislative session.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration:

HB 147 (Dugan, D-Kankakee) allows a school district to require a school bus driver to undergo testing to check for alcohol or drugs if the district has reasonable suspicion to believe that a school bus driver permit holder is under the influence of such.

HB 190 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) provides that of the 70 charter schools that are permitted to operate at any one time in Chicago, not more than 5 charter schools devoted exclusively to students from low-performing or overcrowded schools are allowed.

HB 1157 (Bost, R-Murphysboro) requires the Office of the Comptroller to compile lists of programs created by laws containing language making the programs subject to appropriation. It requires the state officer or agency responsible for administering each such program to submit a report to the Comptroller stating whether any funds have been appropriated for the program during certain time periods.

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 Open Meetings Act.

HB 1831 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) removes a provision that requires the educational services block grant to include the Bilingual Program.

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

HB 3035 (Holbrook, D-Belleville) makes changes regarding transfer students who have parents serving in the military.

HB 3115 (Gordon, D-Peoria) 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 3171 (Cavaletto, R-Salem) , an Alliance initiative,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 3222 (Stephens, R-Highland) provides that a chief school business official endorsement shall be affixed to the administrative certificate of any holder who qualifies by having a Master's Degree in Public Administration from a regionally accredited higher education institution.

HB 3411 (Eddy) requires the Teacher Retirement Insurance Program Committee to identify proposed solutions to the funding shortfalls that are affecting the Teacher Health Insurance Security Fund and to report those solutions to Governor and the General Assembly within 6 months after the effective date of the amendatory Act.

The following bills were approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration:

SB 1643(Sullivan, D-Rushville) 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.

SB 1669 (Holmes, D-Aurora) p rovides that a school bus driver permit may not be issued to persons who have been placed under court supervision for certain offenses and requires school districts to maintain copies of the school bus driver permits of each individual operating a vehicle for the school district for a purpose requiring a school bus driver permit. The bill makes other changes regarding school bus driver permits, liability insurance, and safety inspections.

COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE – ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Tuesday, April 5, 1:30 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol

Subject matter:             National Board Certification, Principal Mentoring, Teach for America, Teacher and Administrator Mentoring Program, Assessments, Growth Model, Response to Intervention, American Diploma Project and Illinois Education Labor Relations Board

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 6, 8:30 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 592 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) has an amendment filed to require that any student expelled or suspended for more than 20 days must immediately be transferred into an alternative school program unless they are expelled under the provisions of the Gun Free Schools Act.

HB 593 (Hernandez) has an amendment filed to provide that moneys deposited into a school district’s drivers education fund cannot be used to fund a private commercial driver training school and disallows any school district from asking for a waiver for this purpose.

HB 595 (Chapa La Via ) has an amendment filed to provide that the intermediate service center where a detachment is being sought shall perform all duties and responsibilities required to be exercised in detachment proceedings.

HB 1243 (Hernandez) creates a 40 hour community service graduation requirement for J. Sterling Morton High School.

HB 1545 (Davis, M, D-Chicago) has an amendment filed to make changes in the make-up of Local School Councils for the Chicago Public School system.

HB 2086 (Davis, M.) has an amendment filed to disallow denial of an expelled or suspended student from enrollment in an alternative education program.

HB 3027 (Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates) has an amendment filed to make changes to the student teacher criminal history background checks section of the School Code. It requires, that as of July 1, 2012, student teachers: undergo an Illinois State Police (ISP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history record check; have authorization for the check be provided by the school where the student teacher is assigned; have the ISP and FBI furnish the results to the president of the school board; pay any fees; may not begin teaching until the results have been returned to the school district.

HB 3040 (McGuire, D-Joliet) has an amendment filed that would place the requirement to submit floor plans to law enforcement agencies and fire departments under the School Safety Drill Act.

HOUSE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 6, 8:30, a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

HB 3108 (Eddy) has an amendment filed to make further changes regarding the establishment of financial oversight panels for school districts.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Wednesday, April 6, 4:15 p.m, Room 409, State Capitol

SJR 27 (Meeks, D-Chicago) will be amended with provisions to deny specific school district mandate waiver requests.

SB 79 (Steans, D-Chicago) has an amendment filed to allow a local school board to develop its own process for receiving charter school proposals on an annual basis.

SB 2135 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) has an amendment filed that will add stringent new qualifications for private drivers’ education instructors.

HOUSE PERSONNEL AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE
Thursday, April 7, 8:00 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 3375 (McCarthy, D-Orland Park) has an amendment filed that would disallow multiple annuitants, without impairing their retirement status, from accepting employment with a school district as a group (for example, the hiring of two interim superintendents), without first receiving an exemption from the Teachers’ Retirement System because of a claim of a shortage of administrators available for the position.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Thursday, April 7, 8:30 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 1744 (Chapa La Via) is currently a “shell bill” and no amendments are on file.

HB 1745 (Chapa La Via) is currently a “shell bill” and no amendments are on file.

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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