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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-40

Distributed via Email: March 28, 2014

GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETS LEGISLATIVE DEADLINE

The Illinois legislature reached its first hurdle this week, as today (Friday) is the deadline for bills to be considered by a committee. For the most part, bills that are still assigned to a legislative committee are “dead” – though parliamentarian maneuvers can occur which would discharge a bill onto the House or Senate floor. The volume of bills assigned to the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee required the committee to hold three full hearings this week in order to debate all of the bills on its docket.

Bill sponsors will now have two weeks to have their bills called for a vote on the House or Senate floor.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET

The last Alliance Legislative Report covered the broad themes of Governor Pat Quinn’s State Budget Address.  Though conflicting information results when comparing proposed budget numbers reported by the Office of the Governor, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), legislative staffers, and news reports, generally it looks like the governor proposes a net increase for K-12 education of about $344 million in Fiscal Year 2015.

This bump would increase General State Aid by approximately $158 million for a proration rate of 90.5%. A $22 million increase is slated for regular transportation and $25 million more is proposed for Early Childhood Education. Other budget line items scheduled for an increase in the governor’s plan mostly mirror ISBE’s budget request, including:

  • $4 million for the Truant Alternative and Optional Education program
  • $3 million for Homeless Child Education
  • $5 million for Performance Evaluations
  • $5 million for Extended Learning Time Grants
  • $2 million for Low Income Advanced Placement
  • $5 million for Teacher and Administrator Mentoring
  • $1 million for Principal Mentoring
  • $2 million for the Longitudinal Data System
  • $11 million for Bilingual Education

This budget proposal is predicated on the current income tax rates being extended. If the income tax rates roll back on Jan. 1, 2015 according to current law, elementary and secondary education will likely be looking at significant budget cuts for FY ‘15. The legislature will now take up the governor’s proposal as it begins to prepare appropriations bills for the next fiscal year. Appropriations committees are schedule to meet next week in the Capitol in both chambers of the General Assembly.

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ADVANCES

The proposed constitutional amendment that would place an additional income tax surcharge on households that earn more than a million dollars per year was approved by a House committee this week. The House Revenue and Finance Committee sent House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 51 ( Madigan, D-Chicago) to the House floor on a 6-4 vote.

Under the proposal, a charge of an additional 3% of income taxation would be applied to any household with an income over $1 million. According to the sponsor, the proposal would generate an additional $1 billion for state coffers and, as drafted in the resolution, would be distributed on a per pupil basis to every school district ($550 per student).

Since the constitution specifically prohibits a graduated tax rate, the General Assembly must approve (by a 3/5 vote) the resolution to place the question on the November General Election ballot, then voters will vote on the question. If the question is approved by either 3/5 of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election, the change becomes effective.

The same committee defeated another proposal for a graduated income tax on a 3-6-1 vote. HJRCA 33 ( Jakobssen, D-Urbana) which also proposes to change the constitution to allow for a graduated income tax rate, was held in the committee after it had already approved the Madigan proposal.

ACTION ON HOT BILLS THIS WEEK

SB 2682 ( Hastings, D-Matteson) requires the study of the history of organized labor in America and the collective bargaining process to be included in the teaching of the history of the United States.   The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.    

SB 2793 (Hutchison, D-Chicago Heights) requires districts to submit a school discipline improvement plan identifying the strategies the school district will implement to reduce the use of harsh disciplinary practices, if they are determined by ISBE to be in the top quartile of school districts for racial disproportionality. This plan must be approved at a public school board meeting and posted on the school district's website. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.    

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

SB 3004 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) creates additional regulation and limits an administrator’s ability to use their own discretion in regards to suspensions and expulsions.   The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.     

SB 3106 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) requires a unit of local government or school district that maintains an Internet website to post to its website a mechanism for members of the public to electronically communicate with each individual elected official of that school district.   The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 3407 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) requires ISBE to collect and maintain information concerning state mandates for schools, determine the statewide implementation of state mandates for schools, review school district applications for reimbursement submitted under the Act where the General Assembly has appropriated funds to reimburse school districts for costs associated with the implementation of a state mandate, and annually report to the governor and the General Assembly regarding the administration of the Act and changes proposed to the Act that concern schools. The bill, an Alliance initiative, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.    

HB 2513 (Phelps, D-Harrisburg) requires schools to install storm shelters for all new construction executed under “Health/Life Safety.” The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4207 (Fine, D-Glenview) prohibits a student from being subjected to bullying through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed off school property or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned by a school district if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim's ability to participate in opportunities offered by a school. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4424 ( Tryon, R-Crystal Lake) , as amended,permits a school board to excuse pupils in grades 9 through 12 from engaging in physical education courses if those pupils request to be excused and are enrolled in two or more Advanced Placement (AP) courses and/or dual credit courses, with restrictions. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4680 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) ,as amended,makes the combined maximum rate for educational purposes of dual districts (elementary 1-8 and high schools) the same as unit districts by increasing the unit rate to match the  dual district rate. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5286 ( Bost, R-Carbondale) , as amended, provides that four years of working in the capacity of school support personnel shall be counted towards a principal endorsement for a Professional Educator License. The bill, supported by IASB, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5427 ( Cabello, R-Loves Park) requires new provisions concerning staff instruction in suicide prevention; an annual report/guidance document/online tutorial/school board training and educator licensure on vandalism, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was held in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HJR 83 (Chapa La Via) , as amended, approves all of the mandate waiver requests sent to ISBE this spring. The resolution was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration.

OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 3081 ( Biss, D-Evanston) makes changes to the Charter School Law, including providing that no renewal of a previously certified contract is effective unless and until ISBE certifies that the renewal is consistent with the law. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.     

SB 3092 (Delgado, D-Chicago) amends the P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act regarding a student’s personally identifiable information. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.   

SB 3287 ( Raoul, D-Chicago) removes immunity from worker’s compensation claims from organizations that provide safety services to employers, unless the safety organization is owned by the employer. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 3476 (Munoz, D-Chicago), for Cook County, property taxpayers who receive erroneous homestead exemptions will have a lien placed against the property including the principal amount plus any interest and penalties unless the taxpayer pays the erroneous homestead exemption principal, interest and penalties within 30 days of service of notice. The bill was approved by the Senate Revenue Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 3497 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) provides that beginning on Jul. 1, 2014, all student teachers assigned to public schools or nonpublic schools recognized by ISBE shall undergo a Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based criminal history records check. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 671 (Drury, D-Highwood), as amended, disallows providing personal information regarding children under the Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 3700 ( Osmond, R-Gurnee) ,as amended , requires ISBE to adopt rules that incorporate a definition of dyslexia and, subject to funding, requires ISBE to establish a dyslexia advisory group to develop training and instruction modules. With Alliance concerns addressed, the bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 3933 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) ,as amended,increases the allowable debt limit for Berwyn South SD 100 after voter approval. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4093 ( Beiser, D-Alton) i ncludes in the offense of aggravated participation in the manufacture of methamphetamine; methamphetamine manufacturing that occurs within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising any school. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4237 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) , as amended, provides that if a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application is overturned by local referendum, the Charter School Commission shall serve as the authorizing body for that newly established charter school. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4272 (Gabel, D-Evanston) provides that an employer must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid family medical leave to an employee during any 12-month period for dealings related to grandparents and grandchildren.   The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Labor and Commerce Committee and sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4542 (Manley, D-Joliet) requires the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force to conduct a study on the heroin use problem in grades 6 through 12 (instead of in high schools). The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4591 ( Martwick, D-Chicago) provides that if a charter school dismisses a pupil from the charter school, the charter school shall return to the school district an amount equal to 100% of the school district's per capita student tuition, on a pro rata basis, for the time the student is not enrolled at the charter school. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4612 ( Sandack, R-Downers Grove) , as amended, creates a pilot project for any two or more school districts that share the same boundaries may combine transportation activities to achieve savings to these school districts as well as this state. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4655 ( Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest) require s many changes regarding disciplinary responsibilities and actions of school districts. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4775 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) ,as amended , allows a school board to allow administration to transfer a student to an alternate setting  if the student has been charged with a violent felony and the bill further allows a school board to expel a student convicted of a violent felony. With Alliance concerns addressed, the bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5393 ( McAsey, D-Romeoville) , as amended, modifies the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code with respect to the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program. It removes language that provides that the monetary assistance and incentives that qualified educators are eligible for must be based on outlined priorities. With Alliance concerns addressed, the bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5546 ( Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove) ,as amended, for members of a regional board of school trustees, provides that in single county educational service regions that have one or more unexpired terms to be filled at an election, the winner or winners of the unexpired term or terms shall be determined first and independently of those running for full terms.   The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5572 (Durkin, R-Burr Ridge) , as amended, allows the school board of Lyons Township High School District 204 to withdraw from the jurisdiction and authority of the trustees of schools of Lyons Township and the township treasurer, provided that the school board elects or appoints its own school treasurer. The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5621 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) , as amended, modifies and adds to the current high school graduation requirements. The bill, o pposed by the Alliance, and was held in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HB 5716 ( Brauer, R-Springfield) requires that consideration must be given to making school building emergency and crisis response plans accessible in a digital format. The bill, which will be amended to address Alliance concerns, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5755 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) , as amended, for schools that are used for election day polling places, provides that a school district is encouraged to close the school or   hold a teachers institute on that day with students not in attendance. The bill was approved by the House Executive Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5838 (Mitchell, C., D-Chicago) requires schools to provide alternative and optional education programs for truants, the IHOPE Program, and graduation incentives programs to accept dropouts under the age of 24 (currently, under 20 for the graduation incentives programs and through the age of 21 for the IHOPE Program and the alternative and optional education programs for truants). The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5840 (Burke, K., D-Oak Lawn) is an Alliance initiative that will be further amended. The bill willmodify andlink mandate reporting required of ISBE in the School Code to the reports required under the State Mandates Act. In addition, it will require ISBE to collect, maintain and report mandate cost information generated by schools.  The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5887 (Chapa La Via) , an Alliance initiative, provides that the State Charter School Commission shall require commission-authorized virtual charter schools to (1) ensure student access to teachers and report to the local school board or boards information regarding teacher accessibility, the teacher/student ratio, and the amount of teacher/student contact time; (2) provide opportunities for peer interaction and collaboration; and (3) adopt protocols to prevent bullying or other inappropriate online behavior. The bill was held in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HB 5892 ( Mussman, D-Schaumburg) provides for the administration of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors by a pupil, school nurse, and trained personnel. With Alliance concerns addressed, t he bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5967 ( Sosnowski, R-Rockford) provides that a school board shall provide free transportation for pupils residing at a distance of two miles (instead of one and one-half miles) or more from school.   The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 6005 (Chapa La Via) , with respect to a lottery to select charter school applicants, requires the lottery to be administered by the authorizer of the charter school. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HR 826 (Gabel) urges ISBE to: (1) identify potential federal grants for states that can be used for parenting programs and early care and education programs; (2) require early care and education programs; (3) require elementary, middle, and high schools to have family engagement policies and procedures in place that welcome and involve families in meaningful partnerships focused on children's learning; and (4) consider the potential benefits of requiring a course in parenting education as a prerequisite for high school graduation. The resolution was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HR 895 (Chapa La Via) urges the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee to hold subject matter hearings on the administration and funding of high school sports, the safety of high school athletes, the systems and protocols of IHSA, the costs and income of administrating high school sports and feasibility of transferring the duties and functions of IHSA to ISBE. The resolution was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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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