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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-07

Distributed via Email: February 27, 2015

Today (Friday) is the deadline for new bill introductions in the House of Representatives. There are 2,027 Senate bills introduced this year and, at last count, there were 3,995 House bills submitted. Legislators will have all of March to have their bills considered in committees. Both the House and Senate will convene next week, Tuesday through Thursday.

BILL PACKAGES INTRODUCED FOR ALLIANCE/VISION 20/20

The four pillars of Vision 20/20, the public education improvement plan developed and supported by the Alliance and its partners, will soon be the subject of legislative discussions. Though not all of the suggested proposals in the Vision 20/20 plan are ready to be drafted into legislation this spring, several have been. School board members and administrators are encouraged to contact their legislators and ask for support for the following measures, including urging lawmakers to sign onto the bills as co-sponsors. More information can be found on these issues at: www.illinoisvision2020.org

Highly Effective Educators: HB 2657 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) : Licensure Reciprocity Agreements

 

21st Century Learning: HB 3100 ( Unes, R- Pekin) : County-wide Sales Tax for Technology

 

Shared Accountability: SB 1506 ( Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) Current Educator on ISBE
  HB 2683 (Davis, W., D-Hazel Crest) Differentiated Accountability
  HB 3535 ( Golar, D-Chicago) Mandate Relief

 

Equitable and Adequate SB 1403 ( Barickman, R-Bloomington) Evidenced-Based Funding
  HB 2637 ( Crespo, D-Streamwood) Bidding Exceptions for Purchasing

The Alliance also has introduced bills that are on its legislative agenda that have been proposed by members of the various Alliance organizations. Proposals come from the delegate assembly process (IASB and IASBO) or legislative committees (IASA and IPA).

HB 1330 ( Sandack, R-Downers Grove) relieves school districts from the Physical Education mandate.

HB 1389 ( Nekritz, D-Northbrook) will contain language to require sign off from local governments on TIF renewals.

HB 1498 (Morrison, T., R-Palatine) allows for an Open Meetings Act exemption for school boards to discuss safety and security measures. SB 663 (Koehler, D-Peoria) is identical.

HB 2595 (Morrison, T.) gives flexibility to school districts within the Drivers’ Education mandate by allowing for contracting and proficiency examinations.

HB 2810 (Welch, D-Westchester) makes changes to the funding requirements of charter schools.

HB 3302 ( Nekritz) clarifies election processes for school board members and extends the time a board has to fill a vacancy from 45 days to 60 days.

HB 3347 (Davis, W.) will contain provisions regarding special education transportation costs.

HB 3480 (Burke, K., D-Oak Lawn) requires accurate estimates of the cost of proposed mandates on school districts. SB 671 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) is similar.

SB 82 (Sullivan, D-Rushville) facilitates the process for school boards to have at-large elections.

SB 736 ( McConnaughay, R-West Dundee) requires ISBE to priority rank, by grant year, all school districts that have been waiting for longer than 90 days for school construction project grant funds.

SB 1198 ( Barickman) repeals the onerous third party contracting provisions of the School Code.

SB 1561 ( Manar, D-Bunker Hill) , in the School Construction Grant Program, allows for the use of the highest grant index among the school districts involved in a consolidation.

SB 1604 (McCarter, R-Lebanon) prohibits ISBE from using special education rules and regulations that are more stringent than federal special education laws and regulations.

P.E. FLEXIBILITY LEGISLATION SET FOR HEARING

State Representative Ron Sandack is set to call HB 1330 in front of the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Curriculum and Instruction Committee this week. HB 1330, an Alliance initiative, would give local school districts decision-making power over their Physical Education courses. School administrators and board members are urged to contact their State Representative and ask for a “yes” vote on the bill – especially if he/she is a member of the committee.

Over the last several years, local school districts have simultaneously seen cuts in the state education budget and additional requirements for the district to perform. For all of the legislators who have pledged to address unfunded mandates on school districts, supporting HB 1330 is the opportunity to do so. The legislation allows parents and students more control in their class schedules while preserving Physical Education in a manner that fits best with the local district’s schedule, curriculum, and commitment to the health of students.

HEARING HELD ON PARCC ASSESSMENT

The new standardized student assessment tool selected by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers ( PARCC), was the subject of a hearing this week in the House of Representatives. The Alliance joined representatives from ISBE, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Advance Illinois, Stand for Children, the Parent Teacher Association, teacher unions, parent advocates, and individual school administrators to testify to the need, purpose, readiness, and concerns about the PARCC assessment, set to begin in the coming weeks.

State Superintendent Chris Koch and Governor Bruce Rauner’s newly appointed Education Secretary, Dr. Elizabeth Purvis, both emphasized the need to administer the PARCC assessment per Illinois’ U.S. Department of Education No Child Left Behind waiver. There is a concern that if Illinois does not meet the 95% student assessment threshold, federal Title funding, as well as the waiver from punitive Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks, are at risk. Recent announcements from CPS of a plan to assess only 10% of their students would put Illinois below the 95% testing threshold.

Teacher union representatives, school administrators, and parent advocates testified at the hearing to concerns about technology readiness, students’ technology literacy, loss of instructional time, and psychological concerns for students. While most expressed their support for the new Illinois learning standards and the value of assessment to guide instruction, anxieties over the roll out of a new assessment were very clearly shared with the committee. Representing the School Management Alliance, Hattie Doyle, Principal at New Berlin High School, also shared that student growth assessments with real-time results are already in place to comply with Illinois’ Performance Evaluation Reform Act for principal evaluation.

At the close of the hearing, Committee Chairperson Representative Esther Golar expressed the desire to create a working group to assess the roll out of PARCC and what could be done to assist Illinois school districts with compliance. Currently, the Illinois Assessment Review Task Force (Public Act 98-1075) is also working to review the use of standardized assessments by local school districts. The Alliance has three representatives on the task force.  

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING NEXT WEEK

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 3, 1:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

Subject Matter: SB 1 overview; ISBE Mandates and Pressures

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 3, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 52 ( Clayborne, D-E. St. Louis) allows school districts to transport children to school who live within 1 ½ miles of school if there is a significant risk of violent crime.    

SB 114 ( McConnaughay) permits a school board to excuse pupils in grades 9 through 12 from engaging in physical education courses if those pupils request to be excused and are enrolled in two or more Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

SB 671 (Connelly) , an Alliance initiative thatrequires ISBE to collect and maintain information concerning state mandates for schools, determine the statewide implementation, review school district applications for reimbursement, and annually report to the governor and the General Assembly.

SB 736 ( McConnaughay, R-St. Charles), an Alliance initiative regarding the School Construction Grant Program, provides that school districts shall receive a priority ranking from ISBE within 90 days of the end of the current year's application cycle and requires ISBE to priority rank, by grant year, all school districts that have been waiting for longer than 90 days for school construction project grant funds.

SB 1319 (Martinez, D-Chicago) makes clarifications and deletes obsolete language in the School Code.

SB 1338 ( Clayborne) in provisions setting forth the minimum requirements for educators trained in other states or countries, specifically includes applicants applying for a Professional Educator License with a principal, chief school business official, or superintendent endorsement.

SB 1375 (Hastings, D-Matteson) requires that the test that high school students must pass regarding American patriotism and the principles of representative government have questions that are identical to the 100 test questions listed in the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION – LICENSING OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, March 4, 8:30 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

HB 131 (Flowers, (D-Chicago) prohibits ISBE from assessing any student whose parent or guardian has requested that student not be assessed.

HB 150 (Meier, R-Highland) ,in a provision of the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code that requires a license to be revoked for conviction of a Class X felony, specifically includes the offense of terrorism as one of those Class X felonies.

HB 152 (Willis, D-Northlake) requires that each school building in the district be equipped with approved carbon monoxide alarms in accordance with the rules of the State Fire Marshal.

HB 306 ( Guzzardi, D-Chicago) provides that a student is not required to take a particular state assessment if that student's parent or guardian requests, in writing, that the student be excused from taking the state assessment.

HB 1378 ( Sosnowski, R-Rockford) allows the school board of a school district with fewer than 200 students to enter into a contract with a third party for non-instructional services currently performed by an employee or bargaining unit member or lay off those educational support personnel employees upon 90 days written notice to the affected employees (instead of allowing the contract only if certain conditions are met with respect to that contract).

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION – SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 4, 9:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 1402 (Jones, D-Calumet City) requires the completion of instruction in Black History in order to complete the 8th grade or graduate from high school.

HB 1410 (Bennett, R-Watseka) requires behind-the-wheel instruction to incorporate motorcycle safety and awareness to ensure that students understand their surroundings when operating a motor vehicle.

HB 1436 (Franks, D-Woodstock) requires the school safety drill annual report to include any renovation or addition to a school building or a change in the floor plan, any emergency and crisis response plan, or any evacuation plan of a school building.

HB 1448 (Harris, R- Mt. Prospect) extends the current P.E. exemptions for grades 11 and 12 to grades 9 and 10.

HB 1458 (Welch) provides that prior to being asked any question or being requested to make any statement while in the presence of a police officer, a student must be informed of the right not to answer and the right to have a parent or attorney present.

HB 1481 (Ford, D-Chicago) establishes a private school voucher program to allow a student to use public funding to attend a non-public school.

HB 1493 (Ford) requires school boards to either connect at-risk students with anger management classes offered in the community or conduct their own anger management classes for at-risk students.

HB1509 (Ford) requires each school board to adopt a rule regarding the sending of sexually explicit text or images by students through the use of a computer, cellular phone, or other portable electronic device.

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


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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