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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-45

Distributed via Email: May 9, 2014

MUCH TO BE DONE IN FINAL WEEKS

There are three weeks left on the legislative schedule before the Illinois General Assembly is set to adjourn the spring legislative session. Next Friday is the deadline for bills to be considered in committee in the second chamber and many bills are still pending. The Fiscal Year 2015 state budget is also still in limbo as legislative leaders and the governor count possible votes to extend the current income tax rates. Current income tax rates are set to expire on Jan. 1, 2015 and, if they are not extended, budget construction becomes much more difficult. It will take a simple majority of votes in both the House of Representatives and Senate to approve legislation to either extend the income tax rates for a set period of time or make them permanent, thus securing the additional (roughly) $2 billion the tax rates generate.

Extension of the current tax rates is not “automatic” this spring as wary lawmakers gauge the will of their constituents regarding taxation in this election year. And along with every member of the House and one-third of the members of the Senate being up for election, an incumbent governor is in a tough race against a well-funded “outsider” who has never held political office. But, certainly, the state budget cannot be crafted without knowing the amount of available revenues and whether or not the income tax rates will be considered this spring.

EDUCATION FUNDING BILL AMENDED

The bill that proposes to significantly alter the education General State Aid distribution formula was amended and advanced this week. SB 16 ( Manar, D-Bunker Hill) is designed to redirect state education funds from school districts with less need to those school districts with greater need of state funding. The bill was changed this week to limit the amount of funding a district can receive through the poverty weighting.

The bill proposes to use a single funding formula that implements a weighting system for students that require additional educational funding such as special education students, English language learners, children in poverty, etc. An overview of the bill can be found in Alliance Legislative Report 98-41.

The formula used will create “winners and losers” among school districts across the state, and the anxiously awaited printouts showing exactly which is which was released this week. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provided the printout data. ISBE analysis of the bill and the district-by-district funding data can be found on ISBE’s website here.

SB 16 is currently pending on the Senate floor and still requires votes by the full Senate and House of Representatives. The Alliance, school districts, legislators, and other interested groups continue to analyze the legislation and the funding data. Whether or not the sponsor intends to call the bill for a vote this spring is still unclear, but lawmakers will make sure that they have had time to thoroughly review all of the information before casting a vote.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 13, 4:30 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

Many of the bills scheduled for hearing this week that contain proposals for new unfunded mandates are again posted for hearing next week. School board members, superintendents, principals, and school business officials are urged to contact the members of the Senate Education Committee and ask for members to oppose these bills. These include:

HB 2513 requires any new school construction to include storm shelters.

HB 5333 adds new reporting requirements regarding the teaching of Black History.

HB 5397 requires new P.E. assessments and reporting.

HB 5707 requires new policies and procedures regarding bullying.

HB 5838adds new requirements regarding the IHOPE program.

More information on these bills was included in the last Alliance Legislative Report.

Additional bills scheduled for hearing include:

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

HB 3937 (Chapa La Via) extends the moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with virtual-schooling components in school districts through Dec. 31, 2017 (instead of through Apr. 1, 2014).

HB 4527 (Chapa La Via) 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 4616 ( Cavaletto, R-Salem) allows a school board to use remaining funds on hand in the Fire Prevention and Safety Fund for required safety inspections.  

HB 4995 (Mitchell, B., R-Decatur) makes changes with respect to the debt limitations for Monticello Community Unit School District 25.  

HB 5283 (Harms, R-Watseka) makes changes with respect to the debt limitations for Milford Township High School District 233.

HB 5716 ( Brauer, R-Springfield) urges electronic building plans to be part of emergency policies.   

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 14, 10:30 a.m., Room 122B, State Capitol

SB 2793 ( Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights) requires ISBE to annually prepare a report on student discipline in all school districts. The report shall include data on the issuance of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, gender, and age. ISBE shall require certain school districts identified to submit a school discipline improvement plan identifying the strategies the school district will implement to reduce the use of harsh disciplinary practices, which plan must be approved at a public school board meeting and posted on the school district's website. The schools identified will be required to post progress reports.   

SB 2972 ( Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) allows a superintendent endorsement to be affixed to the Professional Educator License who has had at least two years of experience in a general administrative position.

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

BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK

SB 587 ( Hutchinson) , as amended, provides that a career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations may be renewed if an individual passes a test of basic skills. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives.

SB 2710 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) requires non-public schools to abide by the same laws regarding school crisis response plans and required planning meetings.   The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 2747 ( Bivins, R-Dixon) creates the School Security and Standards Task Force within ISBE to study the security of schools, make recommendations, and draft minimum standards for use by schools to make them more secure. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 2934 ( Stadelman, D-Rockford) provides that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is authorized to make grants to various higher education institutions, public K-12 school districts, area vocational centers as designated by ISBE, inter-district special education cooperatives, regional safe schools, and nonpublic K-12 schools for safety and security improvements. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

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. 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.

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 House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 3412 ( Steans, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to establish the academic standards that are to be applicable to students who are subject to state assessments and establishes the new process for standardized tests in grades 3-12. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 3554 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) adds one non-voting member to the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board. It requires the member to be an administrator of a private, nonpublic, special education school. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 3724 (Burke, D-Chicago) requires training on how to properly administer CPR and how to use an AED to be included in high school health education classes. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3939 (Jackson, Sr., D-East St. Louis) makes minor changes to the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act, including allowing children to be placed in grades and courses they were in at their last school until school administrators can verify placement. It also removes the sunset date. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate 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 was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

HB 4591 ( Martwick, D-Chicago) provides that if a charter school dismisses a pupil from the   charter school it 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 was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

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

HB 5393 ( McAsey, D-Romeoville) modifies the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code with respect to the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

HB 5431 ( Sente, D-Lincolnshire) r equires that IHSA shall develop an online certification and training on concussion awareness that will be required for high school coaching personnel and athletic directors. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

HB 5546 ( Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove) ,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 Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

HB 5588( Mautino, D-Spring Valley) removes several outdated, obsolete and duplicative provisions of laws governing schools. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  

HB 5755 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) , 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 Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 5892 ( Mussman, D-Schaumburg) expands the use of EPI pens in schools. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate 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 placed in a special sub-committee in the Senate Education Committee.

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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