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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-26

Distributed via Email: September 12, 2013

FUNDING PANEL TO MEET AGAIN

The Advisory Committee on Education Funding, created this spring in Senate Resolution 431, will meet again on Tuesday, September 17, at 2:00 in Room 212 of the State Capitol. The group, co-chaired by Senator Andy Manar(D-Bunker Hill) and Senator David Luechtefeld (R- Okawville), met for the first time on August 19. The charge of the panel is to make recommendations, by February 1, 2014, for an equitable and adequate education funding system.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be on the agenda to present a “white paper” it has prepared regarding possible funding proposals and changes to the current General State Aid distribution formula. No other testimony is expected at this hearing.

SCHOOL SAFETY GRANTS TO BECOME AVAILABLE

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has received a $25 million federal grant for elementary and secondary schools to upgrade school safety features. The funds, to be distributed on a competitive grant basis, must be used for physical safety features (alarms, windows/doors, fences, locks, etc.) and cannot be expended for personnel.

Of the $25 million, $5 million will be earmarked for school districts in Cook County and $5 million will be allocated for institutions of higher education. The application process will likely open in January of 2014. Though more specific criteria will be developed, some of the eligible projects are likely to include:

  • Notification and warning systems
  • Land-mobile radios and base systems
  • Camera-based security systems
  • Reinforced doors and gates
  • Locking devices and entry systems
  • Metal detectors, magnetometers, etc.
  • Security sensors

IEMA began the first step in setting up the grant process by publishing proposed administrative rules in the Illinois Register last week. This starts the notice period when anyone wishing to comment on the proposed rules can officially do so. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) must take into consideration all written comments regarding the rulemaking.

The proposed rule can be found here.  This rule begins on page eight.

NO MOVEMENT ON PENSION REFORM

There has been no word, at least publicly, from the conference committee formed to find common ground on pension reform legislation. When committee members do speak publicly, they each claim that significant progress has been made on the issue. Obviously, not enough progress has been made to draft legislation and bring lawmakers back to the Capitol for a vote.

Forward momentum seems to have stopped once Governor Pat Quinn (D-Chicago) eliminated the appropriation that covers legislative salaries. State Representatives and Senators last received a paycheck on July 1. This, according to the Governor, is the consequence for legislators not meeting his deadline to approve comprehensive pension reform legislation. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) joined together to file suit against the Governor regarding this action. The courts are supposed to take up the issue next week. Few think that any pension legislation will be forwarded until the lawsuit is dispensed with.

Legislators are scheduled to return to the Capitol for the Veto Session October 22-24 and November 5-7.

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR

The Governor has taken action on all bills sent to him by the General Assembly this spring. The following are the last of the education-related bills signed into law:

SB 923 (Munoz, D-Chicago) allows schools to install cameras on school buses to record images of vehicles that pass the school bus while engaged in receiving or disembarking students. It requires the municipality and school district to post information regarding this use on their websites. The bill is now Public Act 98-0556, effective January 1, 2014.

SB 1221 ( Martinez, D-Chicago) establishes a voluntary program creating a State Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The bill is now Public Act 98-0560, effective August 27, 2013.

SB 1307 ( Lightford, D-Chicago) , beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, lowers the compulsory school age from 7 years of age to 6 years of age (on or before September 1) for students enrolled in public school. The bill is now Public Act 98-0544, effective July 1, 2014.

SB 1931 ( Bivins, R-Dixon) creates the School Security and Standards Task Force charged with studying the security of schools in Illinois and drafting minimum standards for use by schools to make them more secure and to provide a safer learning environment for students. The Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Principals’ Association each have one appointment on the Task Force. The panel’s report, which is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act requirements, is due by January 1, 2014. The bill is now Public Act 98-0578, effective August 27, 2013.

SB 2199 ( Frerichs, D-Champaign) removes a provision that prohibits a candidate for teacher licensure from beginning an internship or residency required for licensure until he or she has passed the applicable content area test. In provisions concerning the minimum requirements for educators trained in other states, it requires school service personnel prepared by out-of-state programs to meet the same requirements concerning ( i) courses in the methods of instruction of the exceptional child, (ii) coursework in methods of reading and reading in the content area, and (iii) courses in instructional strategies for English language learners as in-State candidates in school service personnel areas, as defined by rules (instead of requiring school service personnel prepared by out-of-state programs to complete a minimum of one course in the methods of instruction of the exceptional child, a minimum of 6 semester hours of coursework in methods of reading and reading in the content area, and a minimum of one course in instructional strategies for English language learners). The bill is now Public Act 98-0581, effective August 27, 2013.

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


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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