Alliance Legislative Report 98-28
Distributed via Email: October 24, 2013
LITTLE TO SHOW FOR FIRST WEEK OF VETO SESSION
The Illinois legislature worked in an abbreviated session this week and took no significant votes on legislation. None of the hot button issues were addressed and only one vetoed bill was considered. Originally scheduled to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, both chambers left the Capitol mid-afternoon on Wednesday and cancelled today’s (Thursday) session.
The education committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate did meet. The Senate committee only heard testimony regarding mandate waiver requests and no action was taken. The House committee also entertained testimony regarding mandate waiver requests, and approved two bills that were sent to the House floor (listed below). The pension committees did not meet this week.
The second week of the Veto Session is scheduled for Nov. 5-7.
LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK
The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee approved two bills on Tuesday. SB 578 (Dillard, R-Hinsdale) contains the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provisions on updating the teacher/administrator licensure requirements. SB 1845 (Mulroe, D-Chicago) was amended with language adjusting dates in the alternative teacher certification provisions. Both bills were sent to the House floor for further action.
The committee also approved an amendment to SB 1689 (Haine, D-Alton) regarding Regional Offices of Education (ROE). Previous legislation (Public Act 97-703) requires the number of ROEs to shrink from 44 regions to 35 regions by Jan. 1, 2014. The law states that if the ROEs do not complete the consolidation, ISBE will do so.
The amendment m oves up the date for the ROE consolidation from Jan. 1, 2014 to Nov. 1, 2013 for locally determined consolidation decisions and also moves up the date to Nov. 23, 2013 (instead of Jun. 1, 2013) for ISBE to further direct consolidation until the goal of 35 regions is achieved. Regional superintendents testified that they currently have agreed to pare the regions down to 38 – leaving the ISBE to further redistrict to get to the magic number of 35 regional offices.
SB 1689, as amended, was then approved by the House of Representatives and sent to the governor for his consideration.
The House Appropriations – Elementary and Secondary Education Committee met Wednesday to take testimony from ISBE about a supplemental appropriation request. ISBE says that four budget line items approved in May fall short and additional funding is needed to make them whole.
ISBE is requesting $2.3 million for student assessments since a writing assessment is being added for high school juniors taking the PSAE. The cost increases because of the resources needed to grade a writing test.
ISBE is requesting $400,000 for school district consolidation costs. This is a predetermined amount based on school districts that have consolidated over the past four years as such districts are entitled to incentive payments for this time period. Budget cuts in the spring pared this amount from the consolidation line item.
ISBE is requesting $239,000 for the Alternative Education/Regional Safe Schools line item to ensure level funding from FY ’13. This would allow more suspension and expulsion eligible students to be placed in alternative learning settings and every region would receive funding from the appropriation.
ISBE is requesting $500,000 for the Truant Alternative and Optional Education Program to remain at level funding with FY ’13. These programs provide services to chronic truant and potential dropouts and the grantees include school districts, community colleges and ROEs.
The hearing was “subject matter only” and no legislation was considered. Lawmakers will take up the issue when they return in November.
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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