Alliance Legislative Report 99-47
Distributed via Email: May 27, 2016
UNCERTAINTY REMAINS ABOUT STATE BUDGET
With four days remaining before the scheduled session adjournment deadline, no state budget compromise is imminent. After a roller coaster week with reports of budget progress followed by reports of total breakdowns, the week seemed to end on the total breakdown front. The buzz Friday morning was that at least one side came away from budget meetings declaring that there was not enough time left in the session to create the “grand compromise” needed to end the year-long budget debacle. But in the Capitol, four days at the end of May can seem like an eternity.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate adjourned Friday afternoon and will return to the Capitol on Sunday afternoon.
It was an eventful week, however, regarding budget plans and funding proposals. The House approved an omnibus state budget bill (SB 2048) that would provide $700 million in new funding for K-12 education to be distributed through an “Equity Grant” based on a school district’s poverty student concentration. Currently, this is the only appropriations bill moving for Fiscal Year 2017, including a budget for elementary and secondary education.
Alliance members are encouraged to contact their legislators and urge approval of a Fiscal Year 2017 K-12 budget before adjournment. Senators should be urged to support the K-12 appropriation outlined in SB 2048.
NO SHORTAGE OF FUNDING FORMULA PROPOSALS
Friday, the Senate approved HB 3190 which would change how school funding is distributed and provide $205 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for payment to the teachers’ pension fund. For Fiscal Year 2017, state aid would be distributed through the formula contained in Senator Andy Manar’s(D-Bunker Hill) plan (SB 231). For fiscal years 2018 and beyond, education funding would be distributed based on an Evidence-Based Funding Model. The bill will be sent to the House.
Evidence-Based Funding language is also contained in an amendment filed to HB 828. The amendment is pending in the House Rules Committee.
Now in the House of Representatives, the original Manar proposal, SB 231, is scheduled for a hearing in the House Executive Committee on Tuesday. Identical language is also contained in an amendment to HB 829. This amendment is pending in the House Rules Committee.
The House budget bill would fund an “Equity Grant”; additional substantive language is expected to emerge to implement that approach. The plan is expected to suspend the use of the current school aid distribution formula for Fiscal Year 2017. Instead for FY 2017, school districts would receive the same amount of General State Aid funding they received in FY 2016, plus a share of the additional $700 million to be distributed separately based on student poverty counts. The current funding formula will likely not be repealed, but simply suspended for FY 2017 to allow for time to study potential new funding formulas.
The Senate approved another school funding bill Friday as well. An amendment to HB 813 sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) was adopted and the amended bill was approved on the Senate floor. It would suspend the current school funding formula for three years, funding school districts in FY 2017 with no less revenue than districts received in FY 2016. It would redefine the new “Equity Grant” established in the SB 2048 so that poverty funds would be distributed based on a formula that includes the low-income poverty concentration and the district’s local available resources.
The bill would also appropriate $205 million to CPS for its teacher pension fund payment in FY 2017 and continue such annual payments in the future based on the actuarial normal cost to the pension system.
BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
HB 4362 ( Unes, R- Pekin) would have required ISBE to contract with two vendors to administer college entrance exams and requires ISBE to pay school districts to administer at least one exam to students, at the district’s choice. The bill was defeated in the Senate Education Committee.
The following bills have been approved and will be sent to the Governor:
SB 238 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) 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.
SB 2137 (J. Morrison, D-Deerfield) requires teacher training, at least once every two years, on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act during teacher institutes.
SB 2835( Manar) r equires a vehicle to stop before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils.
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.
SB 2970 ( Lightford) changes the assessment measures for identifying gifted and talented children, if money is available for those programs and districts apply.
SB 2972 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) amends the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Article of the Illinois Pension Code to allow a participant who is terminating service to elect a separation benefit rather than a retirement annuity if his or her annuity would be less than $100 (now $30) per month.
SB 2975(Cunningham, D-Chicago) creates an agriculture education teacher grant program to fund personal service costs for agriculture education teachers, subject to appropriation.
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.
HB 4606 (Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest ) makes changes to the requirements and processes for establishing residency of pupils for access to school.
HB 4983 (Soto, D-Chicago) establishes the State Global Scholar Certification Program to recognize public high school graduates who have attained global competence, sufficient for meaningful use in college and a career.
HB 4996 (Welch, D-Westchester) allows a school board to appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison to facilitate the enrollment and transfer of records of students in the legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services when enrolling in or changing schools.
HB 4999 ( Guzzardi, D-Chicago) 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.
HB 5025 (Welch) p rovides that references to "regional superintendent" shall also include a chief administrative officer of certain educational service centers and that references to "assistant regional superintendent" shall include one assistant appointed by a chief administrative officer.
HB 5529 ( Crespo, D-Streamwood) extends the expiration date of the law that allows for school districts to make interfund transfers of funds for three more years.
HB 5683 (Breen, R-Lombard) expands reasons people can sue for presumed Open Meetings Act violations.
HB 5684 (Breen) provides that employers under 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.
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. School officials, defined as the school principal or designee, shall determine and notify students of any limitation of student expression under this Act.
HB 6252 (Willis, D-Northlake) allows an elementary school district to withdraw from its special education joint agreement program under certain circumstances.
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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