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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-35

Distributed via Email: February 20, 2014

EDUCATION FUNDING DISCUSSED IN COMMITTEE

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) testified Tuesday before a House appropriations committee on its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. State Superintendent of Education, Chris Koch, board Chairman Gery Chico, and board members Andrea Brown and David Fields presented ISBE’s case to increase public school funding by over $1 billion.

ISBE is advocating for full funding of the $6,119 per pupil foundation level for FY ’15. The estimated cost of full funding for the foundation level is $879 million. Other funding increases are being requested by ISBE for early childhood education ($25 million), bilingual education ($12.3 million), state assessments to administer the PARCC examination ($27.1 million), the Extended Learning Time program ($10 million), transportation ($30.4 million), emergency assistance for districts in financial distress ($5 million), assistance for low-income students to take Advanced Placement exams ($2 million), and a $450 million request for technology infrastructure.

The top funding priority for the Alliance is full funding for General State Aid.

Committee members cautioned state board representatives of the still dire financial situation of the state and that this would likely be another year of budget cuts, not increases.

Also appearing before the committee were Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) to present an overview of the Education Funding Advisory Committee report (see Alliance Legislative Report 98-33 for details: http://iasb.com/govrel/alr9833.cfm). This appearance was noteworthy as the House of Representatives did not participate in the funding committee process and had no input into the final committee report. Though the report was submitted – with many sometimes controversial proposals – it was acknowledged several times that there was not consensus among the funding committee on all the items listed in the report.

BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK

SB 2710 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) requires a private school to conduct a minimum of one annual meeting at which the school must review each school building’s emergency and crisis response plans, protocols, and procedures and each building’s compliance with the school safety drill programs of the school. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2711 (Sullivan, J., D-Quincy) permits ISBE to make payments for grants provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education, or any other federal agency for any fiscal year without regard to the fact that the services being compensated for by such payment may have been rendered in a prior fiscal year. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2729 (Frerichs, D-Gifford) changes references of the General Educational Development (GED) test to the test for high school equivalency. The bill was approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2760 (Lightford, D-Maywood) prohibits a student from being asked any question or being requested to make any statement while in the presence of a police officer without first informing the student of the right to have a parent, a guardian, or an attorney present. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration with the understanding that the sponsor will work with opponents to try to reach compromise.

SB 2870 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) provides that no student shall be subjected to bullying through the use of data or computer software that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school. The sponsor held the bill, opposed by the Alliance, in the Senate Education Committee to work on amendments to address opponents’ concerns.

HB 2880 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to establish a standard student expulsion policy that applies to each school district in the state and mandates that a district's pupil discipline policy conform to the standard student expulsion policy. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was discharged from the House Rules Committee and sent directly to the House floor for consideration.

HB 4262 (Fine, D-Glenview) r emoves a requirement that new teachers provide evidence of freedom from tuberculosis and, instead, states that they may be subject to additional health examinations, including screening for tuberculosis. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

All bills posted for hearing this week that were not considered by the committee are re-scheduled for hearing next week.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 25, 1 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

SB 2627 (Lightford) repeals the law that establishes the State Charter School Commission and returns charter school authorizing and appeal powers to ISBE.  

SB 2779 (Holmes, D-Aurora) requires a referendum of the voters to approve a charter school proposal if the State Charter School Commission or ISBE has reversed a local school board decision on appeal.

SB 2945 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) requires the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board to approve the usual and customary rate or rates of certain out-of-state, non-public providers of special education programs.

SB 2989 (Delgado, D-Chicago) allows a psychologist who holds a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) certificate and has such additional qualifications as may be required by ISBE to meet the definition of school psychologist.

SB 3004 (Lightford) provides for the expulsion of pupils by removing a pupil from a school or educational setting for a period of more than 10 school days for posing a significant threat of imminent serious harm to other pupils or to staff (instead of providing for the expulsion of pupils guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct).

SB 3033 (Frerichs) requires ISBE to annually confer with the Illinois Community College Board to identify industries and occupations that face workforce shortages and to notify school districts of these identified industries and occupations.

SB 3081 (Biss, D-Skokie) makes changes to the Charter School Law, includingproviding that no renewal of a previously certified contract is effective unless and until ISBE certifies that the renewal is consistent with the law.

SB 3092 (Delgado) a mends the P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act regarding a student’s personally identifiable information.

SB 3113 (Barickman, R-Bloomington) increases the debt limit under certain circumstances for Milford Township High School District 233.

SB 3214 (Syverson, R-Rockford) adds automated external defibrillators to first aid educational topics that may be included in a comprehensive health education program.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 26, 8 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 3700 (Osmond, R-Gurnee) requires ISBE to distribute to school boards information on screening instruments available to identify students who exhibit potential indicators of dyslexia.

HB 3754 (Chapa La Via) repeals the law that establishes the State Charter School Commission and returns charter school authorizing and appeal powers to ISBE.   

HB 4237 (Chapa La Via) requires a referendum of the voters to approve a charter school proposal if the State Charter School Commission or ISBE has reversed a local school board decision on appeal.

HB 4440 (Chapa La Via) extends by one year the “sunset date” for the Early Childhood Education Block Grant.

HB 4522 (Chapa La Via) allows two or more (instead of four or more) contiguous school districts with all or a portion of their territory located within the geographic boundaries of the same municipality to 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 eight.

HB 4527 (Chapa LaVia) requires a charter school to comply with all federal and state laws and rules applicable to public schools that pertain to special education and the instruction of English language learners.

HB 4775 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) allows a school board to suspend a student for a period not to exceed 10 school days or to expel a student for a definite period of time not to exceed two calendar years, as determined on a case-by-case basis, if the student has been charged with a violent felony and the charges are pending or if the student has been convicted of a violent felony.

HB 4558 (Drury, D-Highwood) provides that the definition of "School Student Record" includes the following information used by or assigned to an individual student: (i) any unique identification number; (ii) any unique user name, other than the student's name itself; and (iii) any other unique information used to identify an individual student.

HB 4767 (Chapa LaVia) makes changes to the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification program.

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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