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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-15

Distributed via Email: May 6, 2011

LEGISLATURE STARTS BUDGET WORK

Both the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives reconvened this week, and budget proposals began to emerge. In the Senate, a series of bills advanced which set appropriations levels for many parts of the State Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The bill containing appropriations for elementary and secondary education (SB 2458) was discussed in committee, but no vote was taken. House budget discussions continued this week, but no proposal in bill form has yet surfaced.

SENATE VERSION OF FY ’12 EDUCATION BUDGET

SB 2458 (Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) , as introduced, set the k-12 education budget at the levels recommended by Governor Quinn in February. The Senate majority has offered four amendments to the bill which will reduce the total education appropriation by $600 million under the governor’s recommended amounts. The Senate proposal would:

  • Hold the foundation level in the General State Aid formula flat at $6,119 per pupil (the Governor recommended an increase of $148 per pupil)
  • Mandated categorical grant programs would be cut 10% (the governor recommended 100% funding of mandated categoricals, except regular transportation reimbursement)
  • Restore funding to regular transportation reimbursement so it is at a 90% proration rate like the other mandated categorical grants (the governor recommended a 50% proration rate for transportation reimbursement)
  • Restore funding for Regional Offices of Education (ROE) salaries and services (the governor recommended eliminating any funding for ROEs)
  • Cut the following budget line items by 10%: blind/dyslexic persons; arts and foreign languages; visually impaired students; alternative education; truant alternative program; agriculture education; career and technical education; national board certified teachers; autism training; children’s mental health partnership; advanced placement classes; growth model assessments; early childhood education; community residential services authority; education strategic plan; re-enrollment of students; bilingual education; student assessments; intervention initiative; and educator misconduct investigations

“DOUBLE WHAMMY” REDUCTION

Another Senate bill relating to the budget would decrease the amount of supplement state aid payments to certain school districts in counties that are under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), or tax caps. SB 629 (Kotowski) would change the formula for those districts that receive supplemental payments to address the “double whammy” under the property tax cap. Generally, these school districts are limited in their access to local property tax receipts because of the property tax cap, then again were being penalized under the general State aid formula. A supplemental aid payment was established to fix this problem.

SB 629 establishes a 65% “floor” for the amount of the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) that can be used when calculating the school district’s “double whammy” supplemental aid payment. The EAV used in the State aid calculation could not be less than 65% of the district’s actual EAV. The result would be that 44 school districts would receive a lower supplement aid payment for the “double whammy”. The following school districts would be affected:

 

Arlington Heights SD 25
-$173,975,000
Harvey SD 152
-$944,533
Oak Park ESD 97
-$6,374,490
Berwyn North SD 98
-$1,330,908
Indian Springs SD 109
-$755,580
Palatine CCSD 15
-$41,251
Berwyn South SD 100
-$1,465,600
JS Morton HSD 201
-$1,563,180
Palos CCSD 118
-$28,048
Bremen CHSD 228
-$533,156
La Grange SD 102
-$863,160
Palos Heights SD 128
-$3,326
Chicago Ridge SD 127.5
-$133,563
La Grange Highlands SD 106
-$19,636
Pennoyer SD 79
-$4,565
Cicero SD 99
-$2,798,780
Lemont THSD 210
-$25,355
Posen-Robbins ESD 143.5
-$359,530
Chicago SD 299
-$165,960,672
Lemont-Bromberek CSD 113A
-$55,869
Prairie-Hills ESD 144
-$690,941
CHSD 230
-$2,168,933
Lincoln ESD 156
-$64,275
Prospect Heights SD 23
-$37,117
Country Club Hills SD 160
-$195,319
Lyons THSD 204
-$81,845
Ridgeland SD 122
-$7,172
East Prairie SD 73
-$11,278
Maine THSD 207
-$29,432
Ridgewood CHSD 234
-$5,809
Elmwood Park CUSD 401
-$5,117,778
Maywood-Melrose Pk-Brdview
-$531,862
River Grove SD 85.5
-$2,043
Evanston CCSD 65
-$248,512
Midlothian SD 143
-$312,889
Riverside Brookfield TD 208
-$274,890
Evanston THSD 202
-$130,114
Mount Prospect SD 57
-$38,740
Sandridge SD 172
-$9,252
Forest Ridge SD 142
-$77,468
Norridge SD 80
-$9,366
Wilmette SD 39
-$155,584
Glenview CCSD 34
-$114,852
Northfield THSD 225
-$426,774
 

The bill is still pending in the Senate Executive Committee.

GOVERNOR/LT. GOVERNOR STILL PUSHING CONSOLIDATION

Though several bills that would have mandated school district consolidation were derailed earlier this year, Governor Pat Quinn and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon are still looking at the consolidation of school districts without local community approval. HB 1216 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora), which has passed the House of Representatives and was approved by the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, would create a commission to study school district consolidation or reorganization. This bill is by far the most fair and useful proposal submitted this spring on the subject. It calls for a commission, with representation from all of the major educational stakeholders – school board members, superintendents, principals, school business officials, teachers, parents, Regional Superintendents of Schools, and legislators – to study the issue and submit a report to the General Assembly. The report would not have the force of law and would not be binding.

Generally, the commission would try to find the optimal number of school districts that should be in the state, the optimal target enrollment for school districts, and to find where consolidation or reorganization might be the most beneficial.

The proposal by the governor and lieutenant governor, yet again, would go far beyond that. Their plan would be for the commission to establish statewide “reorganization criteria”, then create a list of school districts that fail to meet the arbitrary criteria and direct them to consolidate or reorganize. The commission and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) would then “work with these school districts to identify the form of reorganization and the process, procedures and date by which the organization will be implemented on a voluntary basis”.

Under the governor/lt. governor proposal, commission members would be appointed by the governor instead of allowing the organizations (such as IASB, IASA, IASBO and IPA) to designate their individual representatives on the commission as is currently provided in the bill. Finally, the governor’s plan would have the commission issue a report that would include:

  • A list of school districts that “the commission has concluded will not benefit from any form of reorganization”
  • A “list and status report of school districts that have voluntarily opted” to reorganize/consolidate
  • A list of school districts that were targeted because they met the reorganization criteria “but have chosen not to participate in any form of reorganization”. “These school districts will be subject to penalties” for not consolidating.
  • Recommended legislation that will include: “penalties for non-compliancewith the commission’s recommendations”; amendments to the School Code to give the ISBE the authority to issue regulations to mandate school district consolidation/reorganization; and “any legislative action deemed necessary by the commission to implement reorganization”

This proposal is obviously not voluntary, but a plan for mandatory consolidation of school districts. You are urged to contact your state representative, state senator, the governor, and the lieutenant governor to oppose this proposal. Let them know that:

1) School district consolidation must be for the purpose of educational improvement

2) School district consolidation must be approved by the affected voters of the school district

3) HB 1216, which studies school district consolidation, must advance with no further amendments

House members: http://www.ilga.gov/house/

Senators: http://www.ilga.gov/senate/default.asp

Governor: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContactUs.aspx)

Lieutenant Governor: http://www2.illinois.gov/ltgov/pages/contactus.aspx

HOW DOES CONCEALED CARRY OF FIREARMS AFFECT SCHOOLS?

One of the biggest debates in the Capitol recently has centered on legislation to allow citizens to carry concealed firearms. HB 148 (Phelps, D-Norris City) failed to receive the requisite number of votes for passage Thursday on the House floor, but it could be called for another vote. There is some question about exactly how this would relate to school buildings, grounds, properties, and school sponsored events.

In one section of the bill, it clearly states that concealed firearms would not be allowed in “any meeting of the governing body of a unit of local government or special district” – this would include a school board meeting.

In another section of the bill, it states that concealed firearms would not be allowed in “any elementary or secondary school without the consent of school authorities”. Seemingly then, a school “authority” likely an administrator or board could consent to allow concealed firearms in a school building. Yet another section states that “a municipality or school district may prohibit or limit licensees from carrying a concealed firearm into or within any building owned, leased, or controlled by that municipality or school district by a majority vote of members of its governing board”. This seems to call for a school board vote to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on school property.

The Alliance shared its concerns about the legislation this week with lawmakers and will continue to work on amending this portion of the bill. Please share your opinions of the legislation with your legislator and your Alliance lobbyists.

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 Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 139 (Ford, D-Chicago) adds a provision to the remediation section of the State Goals and Assessments article that when a remediation program is developed for a student the program may include an emphasis on reading and math if the student has performed below grade level for 2 consecutive school years. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent 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 was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB 200 (Cross, R-Oswego) 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 Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 363 (Zalewski, D-Chicago) would require that taxing districts include the Department of Revenue multiplier as a part of the calculation of the estimated cost of an increase in the Limiting Rate being sought in a referendum under PTELL, on a home of $100,000. The bill was approved by the Senate Revenue Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 1130 (Sente, D-Lincolnshire) creates the Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act that requires entities that sponsor a soccer program (including school districts) to have a policy that outlines how the body will specifically address the safety issues associated with movable soccer goals. The bill was approved by the Senate Public Health Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB 1415 (Jones, D-Calumet City) requires certain schools in Representative Jones’ legislative district to “opt in” to a pilot project for operation of a full-year school plan approved by the ISBE if a school remains on the academic watch list after two years. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 1706 (Gabel, D-Evanston) , regarding personnel reimbursement for children in hospital or home instruction, provides that a child qualifies for home or hospital instruction if it is anticipated that, due to a medical condition, the child will be unable to attend school and instead must be instructed at home or in the hospital for a period of 2 or more consecutive weeks or on an ongoing intermittent basis. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 2397 (Cross) changes the Care of Students with Diabetes Act to clarify that for school employees and delegated care aides, training shall occur during regular inservice training. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 2401 (Mitchell, R-Rock Falls) provides that each campus of a Chicago charter school devoted to reenrolling dropouts must be operated through a contract or payroll by the same legal entity as that for which the charter was certified. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB 2870 (Chapa La Via) provides that school districts shall provide the opportunity for students to voluntarily state on the enrollment form whether the student has a parent or guardian who serves in a branch of the armed forces. It requires each school district to report this enrollment information as aggregate data to the ISBE under the Student Information System. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB 3027 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) makes changes concerning the execution of joint agreements on forms, the certification and filing of State aid claims, and the definition of "dropout". The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 3035 (Holbrook, D-Belleville) makes changes regarding transfer students who have parents serving in the military. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3109 (Cole) requires new questions to be answered by the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education regarding class size, educator certification, current ISBE rules, and alternative bilingual education programs. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3115 (Gordon, D-Peoria) 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 selected textbooks. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3179 (Cavaletto) defines habitual truant as a student that misses 5% (instead of 10%) of the previous 180 regular attendance days. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

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. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3440 (Chap LaVia) defines “service animal” in the School Code. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3464 (Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn) changes the date of the teacher supply and demand report to January 1, 2012 (instead of 2011) and changes the date of when superintendent and teachers salaries must be reported to the ISBE. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3489 (Cavaletto) allows a school board to adopt a substitute authorization program for substitute teachers who do not hold a certificate valid for teaching in the common schools as shown on the face of the certificate. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor 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. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 2096 (Althoff, R-Crystal Lake) provides that a school board does not have to comply with the Illinois Accessibility Code with respect to the accessibility to press boxes that are on school property if the press boxes are in bleachers that have points of entry at only one level, and the aggregate area of the press box is no more than 500 square feet (instead of if the press boxes were constructed before Aug. 25, 2009). The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2134 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) encourages the ROE to offer school districts the opportunity to participate in shared operational programs and for school districts to explore new ways to consolidate services and programs with other school districts. The bill also requires school districts to complete a one-page checklist along with the annual financial report to disclose which types of shared service options they may be participating in. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HJRCA 5 (Madigan, D-Chicago) proposes to change the Illinois Constitution to p rovide that a bill shall not become a law without the concurrence of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly if that bill increases a benefit under any pension or retirement system. Further, it provides that an ordinance, resolution, or other action of the governing body of any unit of local government or school district shall not be valid without the concurrence of three-fifths of the members of that governing body if that ordinance, resolution, or other action increases a benefit under any pension or retirement system for officials or employees of that unit of local government or school district. The bill was approved unanimously by the House Personnel and Pensions Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 10, 4 p.m., Room 409, State Capitol

HB 78 (Jakobsson, D-Urbana) provides that if a school board designates the area within 1,000 feet of a school to be a safe school zone, then the principal of that school and the local law enforcement agency may prohibit persons, other than residents, from entering the safe school zone without a legitimate purpose.

HB 190 (Eddy) p rovides 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 287 (Flowers, D-Chicago) provides that a school board may create a committee on the retention of students, consisting of the district superintendent, a district administrator who directs student instruction and curriculum, a principal, and a teacher. If such a committee is created, it requires that the committee review the school's decision to retain with respect to each student and make a final decision regarding whether or not to retain a particular student – allowing the committee to prohibit a school board from retaining a student.

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) r equires school districts to provide instruction in violence prevention and conflict resolution education for grades kindergarten through 12 (rather than grades 4 through 12).

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.

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.

HB 1571 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) provides that each school board shall promote at least 60 minutes of reading instruction per day for K-3 students whose reading level is one grade level or lower than his or her current grade level.

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

HB 2086 (Davis, M.) provides that a student cannot 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.

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

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

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

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 11, 8 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

SB 7 (Lightford, D-Maywood) contains education reform provisions regarding teacher tenure, teacher dismissal, teacher seniority, teacher strikes, and mandatory school board member training. A comprehensive summary of the bill can be found at: http://www.iasb.com/govrel/sb7analysis.pdf

SB 621 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that four or more contiguous school districts with all or portion of their territory located within the geographic boundaries of the same municipality may, when in their judgment the interest of the districts and of the students therein will be best served, jointly operate, through an institution of higher education located in the municipality, a science and mathematics partnership school for serving some or all of grades kindergarten through 8.

SB 1226 (Maloney, D-Chicago) l imits enrollment in the agricultural science school to 720 (instead of 600) students.

SB 1795 (Lightford) makes technical changes and “clean-up” revisions in the School Code.

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.

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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