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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-45

Distributed via Email: May 13, 2016

TWO WEEKS LEFT BEFORE ADJOURNMENT

With 13 days left before the scheduled adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly session, there is still no state budget for the current fiscal year, not to mention Fiscal Year 2017. A group of lawmakers have been discussing ways to solve the current state budget impasse and have reportedly sent what is being labeled a “first step” to the governor and legislative leaders.

The legislature adjourned for the week on Thursday and will return to the Capitol on Tuesday.

SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA ON FRONT BURNER

Revisions to the school funding formula were the topic of conversation in the Capitol this week. On Tuesday, the Senate approved SB 231 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) on a vote of 31-21-3 and sent it to the House of Representatives. Thirty votes were necessary for passage. This is the school funding reform bill that revises how General State Aid (GSA) money is distributed to school districts. The fate of SB 231 is unknown in the House as Speaker of the House Michael Madigan has established a task force that is studying various school funding reform plans. The bill is currently still in the House Rules Committee and has not been assigned to a committee for hearing.

The sponsor has been working on this concept for approximately three years and introduced Senate Bill 16 two years ago. The basic premise of the funding formula change is to drive state funding to those school districts in the most need. This would be done, according to proponents, by replacing the current General State Aid formula and collapsing it into a single, simpler formula. It uses weighted measures in the foundation level so certain characteristics and students would generate increased funding. Additional weighting, for instance, would be added for low-income students, English language learners, and special education students.

The estimated amounts each school district would receive under the plan, calculated by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), can be found by clicking here

Also this week, discussion of the proposed Evidenced-Based Funding Formula, as outlined in the Vision 20/20 plan, took place in two different venues. This funding approach is now being vetted by a much larger coalition of educational organizations than just the original Vision 20/20 associations.

On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Mike Jacoby, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, and Brian Battle, a school board member from Barrington CUSD 220, testified before the House Education Task Force regarding the Evidenced-Based Funding model. This hearing was for discussion only and no votes were taken. On Wednesday, Jacoby and Dr. Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, testified before ISBE. Again, this hearing was for informational purposes only and no substantive action was taken by the board. Senator Manar also presented testimony on SB 231 to ISBE Wednesday.

NO FURTHER ACTION TAKEN ON PROPERTY TAX FREEZE

As was reported in Alliance Legislative Report (99-43), the House of Representatives approved a bill on April 21 that would place all school districts under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) and limit the increase of property tax extensions to zero percent. Since then, HB 696 (Franks, D-Woodstock) was sent to the Senate but has had no significant action taken on it. The bill was assigned to the Senate Executive Committee which promptly remanded the bill to the Subcommittee on Special Issues. The bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

The property tax freeze has been a component of Governor Bruce Rauner’s reform agenda for the past year. One set of lawmakers has been meeting regularly on a budget compromise, discussing possible budget cuts and revenue enhancements which could be agreed upon to break the current budget stalemate. Another set of legislators reportedly have been meeting to find some common ground on the governor’s reform proposals. As these meetings have been in private and few details have emerged from the meetings, it is unclear whether a property tax freeze is still in the mix.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration:

HB 4432 (Moffitt, R-Galesburg) allows a child in grades 6-12 to be absent from a public school on a particular day for the purpose of sounding "Taps" at a military honors.

HB 4606 (Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest ) makes burdensome changes to the requirements and processes for establishing residency of pupils for access to school. The Alliancewas the only school management organization to oppose this bill.

HB 4996 (Welch, D-Westchester) allows schools to appoint a person to act as liaison with DCFS. The original bill required this action but an Alliance amendment in the House made the bill permissive.

HB 5710 (Sosnowski, R-Rockford) allows the school board of Rockford School District 205 to award a diploma to any person who has not received a high school diploma but has received a high school equivalency certificate from the alternative higher learning institution, with conditions.

HB 5720 (Andrade, D-Chicago) establishes a task force on Computer Science Education.

HB 5918 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten (instead of five) school years.

HB 6044 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) contains ISBE’s “clean-up” language to delete obsolete and duplicative language from the School Code.

HB 6136 (Wallace, D-Rockford) creates the Advisory Council on At-Risk Students within the State Board of Education.

HB 6181 (Willis, D-Northlake) provides that ISBE shall allow educators to earn professional development hours during the final three months of the school year and enter those hours into the Educator Licensure Information System.

HB 6252 (Willis) allows a certain school district to withdraw from a special education joint agreement.

HB 6299 (Andrade) provides that if Educational Support Personnel (ESP) are dismissed as a result of a Reduction in Force (RIF), and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district. The bill is opposed by the Alliance.

HB 6333 (Gabel, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to create a model asthma episode emergency response protocol to be adopted by school districts.

Other bills:

HB 306 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) prohibitsISBE, regional superintendents of schools, and school boards, to take negative action against a student, school district, or district employee, through grades or evaluations, due to a student being excused from taking a state assessment. The bill was held in the Senate Education Committee as it failed to acquire the requisite number of votes.

HB 2262 (Mitchell, R-Decatur) provides that the minimum amount of $2,000,000 of liability insurance required for a vehicle with a school bus driver permit may be satisfied by either a $2 million combined single limit primary commercial automobile policy, or a $1 million primary commercial automobile policy and a minimum $5 million excess or umbrella liability policy. The bill was approved by the Senate Insurance Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 3760 (Franks, D-Woodstock) requires units of local government to report the annual value of any tax incentive granted by the local government. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 4036 (Lilly, D-Chicago) extends the Family Medical Leave Act to all employers for employee leave related to domestic violence. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 4360 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) provides that no one may be licensed to teach or supervise in public schools who has been convicted of certain drug offenses until seven years following the end of the sentence for the offense. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 4715 (Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon) allows the court to fine a public body $1,000 each day the public body fails to comply with a court’s order regarding a FOIA compliance violation. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 4999 (Guzzardi) prohibits an employer or prospective employer from requiring an employee to access a personal online account in an employer’s presence, invite the employer to join an online group affiliated with a personal online account, or join an online account established by an employer. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring username and passwords for personal online accounts. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 5683 (Breen, R-Lombard) expands reasons people can sue for presumed Open Meetings Act violations. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 5684 (Breen) provides that employers under Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) may not pay a disclosable payment to a retiring employee before the expected date of retirement without first disclosing certain information about the payment at a public meeting of the governing body of the employer. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 5729 (K. Burke, D-Oak Lawn) sets forth provisions concerning postsecondary career expectations; a competency-based, high school graduation requirements pilot program; transitional mathematics courses; reading and communication transitional competencies; College and Career Pathway Endorsements and State Distinction programs; and administrative rules. The bill was approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

HB 5902 (Guzzardi) provides that a student journalist has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school district or by use of school facilities or produced in conjunction with a class in which the student is enrolled. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 6086 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) provides that children and adolescents who are registered in the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services database before their 17th birthday shall be placed higher on the waiting list than adolescents who are registered on or after their 17th birthday within the same level of priority. The bill was approved by the Senate Human Services Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2505 (Steans, D-Chicago) provides that scores of four or higher on International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme examinations shall be accepted for credit to satisfy degree requirements by all public institutions of higher education. The bill was approved by the House Higher Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2823 (Koehler, D-Peoria) , an Alliance initiative, allows a school board, by a resolution adopted by at least two-thirds of the board members, to engage the services of a licensed real estate broker to sell property constructed or renovated by students as part of a curricular program, for a commission not to exceed 7 percent, contingent on the sale of the property within 120 days. The bill passed the House and now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.

SB 2889 (McGuire, D-Crest Hill) in a section requiring the board of review to serve a copy of the petition on all taxing districts when a change in assessed valuation of $100,000 or more is sought, provides that the service may be by electronic means if the taxing district consents to electronic service and provides the board of review with a valid e-mail address for the purpose of receiving service. The bill was approved by the House Revenue & Finance Committee and was sent to the House floor.

SB 2908 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) provides that a license registration fee does not need to be paid if the licensee is returning to work as a substitute teacher for less than 50 percent of full-time equivalency for any particular school year. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2912 (Luechtefeld, R-Okawville) makes changes to teacher licensure laws in line with those suggested by Vision 20/20. It addresses provisional in-state educator endorsements, provisional career and technical educator endorsements, substitute teacher licenses (by removing the provision that requires a test of basic skills for renewal), teacher leader endorsements, and minimum requirements for educators trained in other states. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2964 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) sets prevailing wage levels throughout the state in statute based on bargaining agreements in the locality. The bill was approved by the House Labor Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2970 (Lightford, D-Maywood) would create a program mandating universal screening for second and fifth graders to identify gifted and talented children, if certain conditions are met. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2975(Cunningham, D-Chicago) creates an agriculture education teacher grant program to fund personal service costs for agriculture education teachers, subject to appropriation. The bill was approved by the House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 3181 (Oberweis, R-N.Aurora) provides that a school district or unit of local government may publish any notice, agenda, record, or other information or material required by law electronically instead of in a newspaper. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING NEXT WEEK

APPROPRIATIONS-ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 17, 1:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Building

SB 238 (Lightford) p rovides that not less than 14 percent of the Early Childhood Education Block Grant allocation of funds shall be used to fund programs for children ages 0-3.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, May 17, 2:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 4362 (Unes, R-Pekin) requires ISBE to contract with two vendors to administer college entrance exams and requires ISBE to pay school districts to administer at least one exam, of the district’s choice to students.

SB 3304 (Rose, R-Champaign) allows a medical doctor to teach one high school class per school year without regular teacher licensure if the class has been approved by ISBE as having academic value, in which case the student may be awarded course credit for the class.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 18, 9:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 2736 (Arroyo, D-Chicago) moves the cut-off date for five year olds enrolling in Kindergarten from Sept. 1 st to Dec. 1 st.

SB 2393 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) would require school districts to provide breakfast to students if 70 percent or more are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, are classified as low-income, or can be claimed for free or reduced-price meals.

SB 565 (Lightford) r equires an age-appropriate developmental and social and emotional screening to be included as part of the examinations and procedures that constitute a health examination.

SB 2186 (Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that a school district is subject to and its school board must comply with any valid local government zoning ordinance or resolution that applies where the pertinent part of the school district is located.

SB 2840 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) requires a regional superintendent of schools to waive required fees for GED testing for an applicant who qualifies as a homeless person, child, or youth as defined in the Education for Homeless Children Act, has not attained 25 years of age as of the date of the scheduled test, and can verify his or her status as a homeless person, child, or youth.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: LICENSING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Thursday, May 19, 9:00 a.m., Room 115, State Capito l

SB 240 (Lightford) extends the work of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council to June 30, 2021.

HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 a.m., Room 122B, State Capitol

SB 241 (Haine, D-Alton) p rovides for changes made under guaranteed energy savings contracts to be subject to performance reviews and changes the period of time in which guaranteed energy savings contracts begin becoming cost effective from 20 years to 10 years.

HOUSE COUNTIES AND TOWNSHIPS COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 18, 12:00 p.m., Room 122B, State Capitol

SB 2270 (Stadelman) provides that units of local government (including school districts and public colleges and universities) shall limit contracts or appointments with auditors to five years and shall competitively bid auditor contracts or appointments.

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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Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


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