Alliance Legislative Report 98-11
Distributed via Email: April 4, 2013
LEGISLATURE RETURNS TO WORK NEXT WEEK
The Illinois General Assembly will return to the Capitol next week to resume the spring legislative session after a two week break. The House of Representatives will reconvene on Monday, April 8; the Senate comes back on Wednesday, April 10. Both chambers will be considering bills that were approved by committees in February and March.
Here are some of the pending issues to be addressed over the next two months:
FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET
Much work needs to be done on crafting the FY 2014 state budget. Since the Governor unveiled his spending priorities last month, House and Senate appropriations committees have met to listen to testimony from interested stakeholders but have not taken any specific action on the Governor’s proposals.
Governor Quinn’s budget plan would pare another $300 million from the K-12 education budget with half coming out of the General State Aid (GSA) line item and the other half taken out of the transportation reimbursement funding stream. Given this scenario, the GSA being paid to local school districts would be prorated at 82% resulting in an effective foundation level of $5,452 per pupil.
Look for the legislature to make significant adjustments to the Governor’s budget plan.
PENSION REFORM LEGISLATION
Before the legislature began its two-week break, progress was being made on piecing together a possible pension reform proposal. That momentum is expected to continue upon the arrival of lawmakers in Springfield next week. Legislators seem to have reached consensus on a couple of benefit changes that would save the State tens of billions of dollars in future pension liabilities: capping the pensionable salary of a future annuitant at the social security amount (about $113,000); and making changes to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Please refer to the last Alliance Legislative Report for more details on the pending pension proposals.
ISBE LEGISLATION TO REMOVE SCHOOL BOARDS
As was first reported in Alliance Legislative Report 98-04, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has proposed legislation to remove entire school boards and appoint an “Independent Authority” (IA) to take over operations of the school district if certain (non-specified) governance issues are present. The legislation is fluid as discussions are ongoing between the ISBE and the Alliance, but the last version of the bill (SB 2340) contained some very problematic provisions.
The “trigger” for removal of school boards would begin with the lowest 5% of school districts in student achievement (as determined by the ISBE). All such districts would be eligible for school board removal. Each of the school districts on the “5% list” would have to apply for full accreditation from an out-of-state, national organization (chosen by the ISBE). If the school district did not achieve full accreditation, the ISBE could remove the entire school board and appoint the IA.
It is not clear what the criteria or standards are that would be used by the accrediting organization – but they would not be linked to any current Illinois state law or expectation for Illinois school board members. Upon removal of the school board and installation of the Independent Authority, the ISBE would “suspend” school board elections – taking away the right of the citizens of the community to elect a school board.
The Alliance opposes the notion of using a national accreditation organization to “grade” local school boards. The proposal predisposes that all school districts that are on the list of the “5% of lowest achievers” have school boards that are guilty of dysfunctional, unethical, or illegal governance practices and therefore must have to “prove their innocence” through an accreditation process or face removal from office.
The Alliance also opposes stripping the voting rights away from the residents of a school district.
PENDING LEGISLATION TO BE AWARE OF
As the General Assembly begins to debate bills on the floor of the House and Senate, here is a list of the key legislation that will be voted on in the next couple of weeks.
The following bills are supported by the Alliance. A more detailed description of the bills can be found on the Illinois General Assembly website or in previous Alliance Legislative Reports.
HB 3 (Chapa La Via) extends the “sunset provision” for interfund transfers.
HB 160 ( Osmond) gives more flexibility to PTELL districts for interfund transfers.
HB 161 ( Osmond) allows for three days of P.E. in New Tech High in Zion-Benton T.H.S.D.
HB 197 (Mayfield) makes TIF changes for school districts.
HB 1053 (Sullivan) clarifies what is “open space land” for taxing purposes.
HB 2660 ( Davis, W.) adjusts the funding formula for school districts with Charter Schools.
HB 3232 (Gordon-Booth) allows for a local bidder preference when competitively bidding.
SB 2321 ( Bertino-Tarrant) allows for a P.E. exemption for students in show choir.
SB 2337 (McGuire) exempts the Health/Life Safety property tax levy from PTELL.
The following bills are opposed by the Alliance:
HB 15 (Flowers)requires new school district procedures regarding sudden cardiac arrest in athletes.
HB 89 (Franks) allows for zero growth in a PTELL property tax extension if EAV has decreased.
HB 310 (Ford) creates a lottery scratch off game for a public school voucher program.
HB 492 (Chapa La Via) makes changes in the School Safety Drill Act regarding shooting incidents.
HB 1225 (Burke) contains new requirements and training regarding the signs of sudden cardiac arrest.
HB 1288 (Gabel) creates a new process for school districts that have allegedly violated student rights.
HB 2213 (Ford) establishes new rights and requires new services for certain students.
HB 2386 (Bradley)requires school districts to submit a Fiscal Responsibility Report Card to the State.
HB 2670 (Dunkin) contains new requirements regarding recess in schools.
HB 2762 (Scherer) lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 7 years to 6 years.
HB 2846 ( Golar)requires employers to consider for employment persons with criminal records.
HB 2880 (Ford) requires school districts to use a standard student expulsion policy written by ISBE.
HB 2944 (Drury) requires public schools to administer ISAT exams to non-public school students.
HB 3041 ( Kifowit) allows for zero growth in a PTELL property tax extension if EAV has decreased.
HB 3070 ( Farnham)requires teachers and counselors to receive in-service training on mental illness.
HB 3312 (Ives)requires school districts to post a series of new reports on their websites.
HB 3379 ( Tabares) requires new policies and instruction on teen dating violence.
SB 1190 (Hutchison)requires employers to give family medical leave to grandparents.
SB 1307 ( Lightford) lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 7 years to 5 years.
SB 1711 ( Hastings) requires P.E. teachers, trainers, coaches, and referees to watch a CPR video.
SB 1894 ( Hutchinson) increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Property Tax Exemption.
SB 1932 ( Bivins) requires law enforcement review of school building plans.
LEGISLATION HELD IN COMMITTEES
Many bills have been stopped from advancing to the respective floors of the House and Senate, though through parliamentary procedures or amendment the provisions of the “dead” bills could resurface again. Below is a sample of the bills that the Alliance worked to defeat in committee. While this is not a complete list of all bills that the Alliance had a hand in stopping, it is representative of the variety of issues that would have negatively affected local school districts.
HB 8 (Flowers) created a new civil rights violation for not providing “reasonable accommodations”.
HB 76 (Ford) created a school voucher system sending tax dollars to non-public schools.
HB 88 (Franks) increased the amount of the homestead exemption for disabled persons.
HB 150 (Morrison) increased the income level for eligibility for a senior homestead exemption.
HB 182 (Ives) made contract negotiations subject to the Open Meetings Act.
HB 980 (Burke, D.) increased the amount a school district would pay to a charter school.
HB 1021 ( Verschoore) created new regulations and inspection of boilers.
HB 1058 (Dunkin) created a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy across the state.
HB 1205 ( Sente) arbitrarily limited tackling in football practice.
HB 1373 (Chapa LaVia) mandated that a certified school nurse do medical reviews for IEPs.
HB 1401 ( Nekritz) mandated use of the prudent investor rule when offering investment plans.
HB 1450 ( Crespo) mandated that 65% of school budgets must be spent in the classroom.
HB 2405 (Welch) mandated full day kindergarten.
HB 2509 (Hoffman) required that all work done in an enterprise zone be subject to prevailing wage.
HB 2513 (Phelps) required all newly built schools to have a storm shelter.
HB 2681 (Hernandez) mandated 40 hours of community service as a graduation requirement.
HB 2851 (Conroy) required that all principal and teacher evaluations be accessible to the public.
HB 3059 (Willis) mandated all schools to have carbon monoxide detectors.
SB 1248 (Murphy) created a private school voucher program.
SB 1308 (Murphy) froze individual property tax amounts payable through 2015.
SB 1517 (Connelly) placed school districts under the scope of the State Procurement Code.
SB 2259 (McCann) prohibited school districts to start school before Labor Day.
SB 2395 ( Manar) mandated school boards to designate a place for students to register to vote.
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 Statewide School Management Alliance.
Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov
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