Alliance Legislative Report 99-33
Distributed via Email: August 26, 2015
BUDGET FIGHT GOES ON; GOVERNOR SIGNS BILLS
There is still no end in sight to the budget stalemate in the Capitol as both Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrat leaders continue to dig in for the long haul. The House of Representatives convened Tuesday but, again, little was accomplished. The House is scheduled to return on Sept. 2 and the Senate on Sept. 9.
The governor has been busily acting upon legislation that was approved this spring by the General Assembly. He has signed into law over 420 bills and has issued a veto on approximately 50 bills. Of course, many of the vetoes were part of the budget package sent to him in May. There are about 70 bills still pending on the governor’s desk.
Recently signed into law was HB 4025 (Conroy, D-Downers Grove) that adds to high school graduation requirements at least one semester of civics education which must be a separate class, but part of the two-year social studies requirement. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, is now Public Act 99-0434, effective Jan. 1, 2016. The Alliance is seeking a “trailer bill,” HB 800 (Conroy), that will move the effective date to July 1, 2016 and allow for a gradual phase in of the new requirement so current high school students will not be penalized or delayed for not participating in such a class. The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and is awaiting action in the Senate.
The governor also signed SB 100 (Lightford, D-Maywood) that makes substantial changes to the suspension and expulsion procedures. The bill is now Public Act 99-0456, effective Sept. 15, 2016.
The bill requires a school board to provide with the written expulsion or suspension decision specific reasons why removing the pupil from school is in the best interest of the school and the rationale as to the specific duration of the expulsion or suspension. It also prohibits a school district’s use of any “zero tolerance” policy regarding expulsion and suspension, and limits out-of-school suspensions of three days or less to incidents where the student’s presence in the school would pose a threat to school safety or a disruption to other students’ learning opportunities. Likewise, the bill would limit out-of-school suspensions of longer than three days or expulsions to cases where all other appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted and the student’s continuing presence in school would either pose a threat to the safety of other students and staff or substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school. It requires that students who are suspended for longer than four school days shall be provided appropriate and available support services during the period of their suspension and have an opportunity to make up work for equivalent academic credit.
The Alliance is also pushing a delay in the effective date of the new student athlete concussion law (please see the last Alliance Legislative Report 99-32). SB 219 (Raoul, D-Chicago) pushes the implementation date back to the 2016-2017 school year rather than the 2015-2016 school year. The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate last week and is waiting for committee assignment in the House.
EDUCATION-RELATED BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW
HB 165 (Flowers, D-Chicago) allows students in the public schools to voluntarily engage in individual or collective initiated, non-disruptive prayer or religious-based meetings during non-instructional time. The bill is now Public Act 99-0410, effective Aug. 20, 2015.
HB 175 (McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills) provides that a request for review may be filed not later than 60 days after the discovery of an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act (instead of 60 days after the alleged violation) if facts concerning the violation are not discovered within 60 days after the alleged violation but are discovered at a later date by a person utilizing reasonable diligence. The bill is now Public Act 99-0402, effective Aug. 19, 2015.
HB 3093 (Durkin, R-Western Springs) allows any high school district eligible for Federal Impact Aid whose territory is in two counties, to make a one-time declaration as to interest income not previously declared from 1998 thru 2011 in the debt service fund, prior to June 30, 2016. The bill is now Public Act 99-0404, effective Aug. 19, 2015.
HB 3159 (Cavaletto, R-Salem) allows North Shore School District 112 to issue $150,000,000 in bonds with certain stipulations, including allowing them to be paid off over 30 years. It also allows Sandoval CUSD 501 to issue $2,000,000 in bonds, exempting the debt limit, with certain stipulations and only for those projects approved by the voters March 20, 2012. The bill is now Public Act 99-0390, effective Aug. 18, 2015.
HB 3197 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) creates the Attendance Commission within the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to study chronic absenteeism and make recommendations for strategies to prevent chronic absenteeism. IASB, IASA, and IPA will each have a representative on the Commission.The bill is now Public Act 99-0432, effective Aug. 20, 2015.
SB 1679 (Lightford) requires the state superintendent of education to establish a review committee to review virtual education and course choice setting forth provisions concerning committee members, meetings, duties, and support. It also requires the committee to report its findings and recommendations to the governor and General Assembly no later than May 31, 2016. The bill is now Public Act 99-0442, effective Aug. 21, 2015.
SB 1793 (Hastings, D-Orland Hills) requires ISBE to develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy that includes certain components that school districts are required to adopt in a policy on suicide awareness beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. The bill is now Public Act 99-0443, effective Aug. 21, 2015.
This legislative report was 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.
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