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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-45

Distributed via Email: March 30, 2012

HOUSE BUDGET MEANS MORE EDUCATION CUTS

This week the Illinois House of Representatives approved measures that propose to make deeper budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2013 than proposed by Governor Pat Quinn. The identical resolutions, House Resolution 706 and House Joint Resolution 69, passed easily on the House floor Thursday. The adoption of HR 706 gives the House its marching orders regarding the budget; HJR 69 also requires approval by the Senate in case the Senators want to join the Representatives in this budget scenario.

The House resolutions embrace the governor’s call to cut $2.7 billion out of Medicaid spending, but then go further to slice almost a billion dollars more out of the entire state budget. About $400 million of these cuts would come from K-12 education. Under this House plan, appropriations for FY ’13 would be $258 million less than the current FY ’12 spending. It has not been determined yet exactly where in the education budget the cuts would be extracted from. The two areas likely to be targeted are General State Aid (GSA) and mandated categorical grants – specifically transportation reimbursement.

House members warned that if lawmakers do not make the necessary Medicaid cuts, there would be further cuts to other parts of the budget to make up for it. For example, if no Medicaid savings are achieved, the K-12 education budget could be cut to a level that is $800 million less than the FY ’12 appropriations.

If the GSA formula would be reduced by an additional $250 million, it is estimated that the foundation level would be $5,631 per pupil. That figure represents about 86% of the current statutory foundation level amount of $6,119 per pupil.

Earlier this year the Senate agreed to use the same broad budget parameters as the House in crafting the FY 2013 spending plan. The question is what the Senate will do when HJR 69 reaches the chamber. The choice will be to join House members and force a standoff between the legislature and the Governor; or to back the Governor’s spending plan and set up a Speaker Madigan vs. President Cullerton/Governor Quinn scenario.

SCHEDULE

There is no urgency for the Senate to act on the budget measures. To pass the state budget, both chambers must approve the same legislation that contains the appropriations for next year. Usually this occurs in the last week of May. The scheduled adjournment day for the spring session is May 31.

Today marks the half-way point of the legislative session. It is the deadline for bills to be approved in their House of origin (House bills out of the House and Senate bills out of the Senate). Lawmakers are taking the next two weeks off and will return to the Capitol on April 17.

COMMISSION OFFERS REPORT ON ROE

The Commission established to streamline the Regional Offices of Education (ROE) met this week and voted to approve a report that will be made available to the legislature. Though the official report won’t be filed until next week, the Commission recommends that there be a maximum of 35 regions around the state, with a minimum population of 61,000 per region. It also recommends that regional superintendents of schools be paid out of state funds and that most all of the duties currently being performed by the offices should remain with the ROE.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and have been sent to the Senate for further consideration:

HB 4242 (Phelps, D-Norris City) ,as amended, provides a Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption calculated by subtracting the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the home in the year prior to the natural disaster from the EAV in the year the homeowner applies for the exemption after the home is rebuilt. The exemption would continue until the property is sold or transferred.

HB 5013 (Gabel, R-Waukegan) requires school districts to make publicly available, by December 1 of each year, the student immunization data that the district is required to submit to the ISBE each year.

HB 5114 (Burke, D., D-Chicago) , as amended, r equires all students enrolled in grades 6-8 in the public schools to watch a training video on CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator – only if the videos are provided at no cost to the school district.

HB 5290 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) , as amended, defines what a school district “policy on bullying” must include.

HB 5495 (Nekritz, D-Northbrook) provides that if a school board offers a 403(b) or 457(b) plan to its employees, then the board, and the persons acting under its authority, must act in accordance with the prudent investor rule when making plan-related decisions.

HB 5825 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) provides that, except for those children qualifying under the Article of the Code concerning children with disabilities, school districts shall be eligible to receive reimbursement for all children requiring home or hospital instruction at not more than $1,000 annually per child or $9,000 (instead of $8,000) per teacher, whichever is less.

HB 5826 (Chapa La Via) , regarding the poverty grant in the General State Aid formula, removes language requiring certain schools to submit a plan to the ISBE regarding the improvement of instruction in which priority is given to meeting the education needs of disadvantaged children.

The following bills were approved by the Senate and have been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration :

SB 410 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) , as amended, for levy years beginning in 2013 for taxing districts under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), the aggregate extension base is the greater of either the district’s last preceding aggregate extension limit or the taxing district’s last preceding aggregate extension and defines aggregate extension limit as the district’s last preceding aggregate extension if the taxing district had utilized the maximum limiting rate permitted.

SB 638 (Steans, D-Chicago) makes changes to Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification procedures.

SB 639 (Delgado, D-Chicago) includes the rehabilitation of aging buildings to eligibility criteria for the School Construction Grant Program.

SB 3168 (Link, D-Vernon Hills) prohibits a school board from hiring multiple people who are retired and are receiving a retirement annuity under TRS in order to fill, as a group, a teaching   or administrative position that would ordinarily be occupied by a single, full-time person. There may be an exception if the school board determines that there is a subject area shortage or administrative position shortage, in which case the school board must apply for an exemption.

SB 3244 (Frerichs, D-Champaign) originally required an additional year of math for high school students. As amended, it requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to work with stakeholders to develop a model mathematics curriculum that must be available to school districts, though districts would not be required to implement the curriculum.

SB 3367 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) changes the mandate waiver requirements for school districts regarding drivers’ education,   and requires that school districts looking to contract with a private company for   drivers’ education services must provide evidence that the commercial driver training school employs instructors hold valid teaching certificates. The proposal also requires ISBE to adopt standards for drivers’ education and to annually report the approximate per capita drivers’ education cost for each school district. Finally, the bill adds requirements regarding drivers’ education vehicles used by school districts and mandates that the cars undergo an annual safety inspection if they are over five years of age or have over 75,000 miles on the odometer.

SB 3374 (Holmes, D-Plainfield) , as amended, establishes the Enhanced Physical Education Task Force to promote and implement enhanced physical education programs that can be integrated with a broader wellness strategy and health curriculum in elementary and secondary schools.

SB 3415 (Garrett) requires all school officials, including teachers, guidance counselors, and support staff, to immediately notify the office of the principal if a student commits certain specified offenses. The principal shall immediately notify a local law enforcement agency and require a report to be completed.

SB 3727 (Harmon) makes changes to provisions concerning licenses to operate, permits for construction or major alteration, license renewal, and payment of fees regarding swimming pools.

SJR 61 (Meeks, D-Chicago) approves all of the mandate waiver requests for the spring.

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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