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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-08

Distributed via Email: March 6, 2015

Both the Illinois House and Senate were in full session this week, discussing bills in committees and grappling with budgetary issues over the $1.6 billion shortfall for Fiscal Year 2015. Alliance and Vision 20/20 initiatives are being worked on in legislative committees and behind the scenes as legislators begin the “heavy lifting” with thousands of bills to consider before the first committee deadline scheduled for Friday, March 27.

BUDGET BATTLE LOOMING

On Tuesday, the first shot of the pending budget battle was fired as Senate Democrats advanced a supplemental budget bill out of a Senate committee against the wishes of Governor Bruce Rauner. The legislation, SB 274 ( Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) would sweep $580 million in special funds to help ensure continued funding for programs in Fiscal Year 2015. A possible landing point for some of the newly “found” $580 million is a child care assistance program that has gotten much publicity in the past few weeks.

Governor Rauner had been engaging in conversation with legislative leaders on ways to fix the $1.6 billion shortfall for FY 15, but those talks stalled when Rauner laid out his budget without any revenue increases. After the Appropriations I Committee approved SB 274 on a partisan roll call, Republican’s decried the maneuver as the same type that created the budget gap in the first place.

The impact of SB 274 on local school districts remains unclear. Nearly $125 million of education or education related funds were swept in the legislation; however, the funds were diverted to the General Revenue Fund where the majority for General State Aid is funded. We will continue to keep you updated on the appropriations process as the budget picture continues to develop. SB 274 is currently awaiting approval by the full Senate. It is unclear as to whether or not the House would take up the matter if the Senate sends SB 274 to House for consideration.

HOUSE EDUCATION TASK FORCE TO MEET ON SCHOOL FUNDING

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican Leader Jim Durkin have named members to a newly created bipartisan House task force to study “the way in which the state distributes funding to Illinois public schools.”

The Senate’s work under the Education Funding Advisory Committee culminated in the introduction and passage of SB 16 in 2014 by that body. The House began talks last summer to address the issues of school funding but talks stalled in the fall.  

The task force will meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 in Room 118 of the Capitol. Our Vision 20/20 initiative recommends an “Evidence Based Funding Model” as put forth in SB 1403. Please contact your legislators and those below to encourage them to review our proposal. Their contact information is available at: www.ilga.gov. The following House of Representatives members have been named to the group:

Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago
(Task Force Chairwoman)

John Bradley, D-Marion
Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora
Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates
Will Davis, D-Homewood
Marcus Evans, D-Chicago
Laura Fine, D-Glenview
Esther Golar, D-Chicago
Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero
Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan
Emily McAsey, D-Lockport
Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg
Elgie Sims, D-Chicago

Bob Pritchard, R-Sycamore
(Republican Spokesperson)

Steve Andersson, R-Geneva
Peter Breen, R-Lombard
Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago
Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton
Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove
Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford
Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake
Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake
Grant Wehrli, R-Naperville

BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK

HB 118 (Flowers, D-Chicago) for CPS, requires daily recess for student K-8 for at least 10 minutes. The bill was approved by the House Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 127 (Flowers) MANDATE requiring school districts to collect a signed form from the parent of any student who participates in an athletic activity of the acknowledgement of the symptoms and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest and requires all coaches to annually complete a sudden cardiac arrest training course. The bill was approved by the House Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 175 ( McSweeney, R-Cary) 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 was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.  

HB 228 (Franks, D-Woodstock) provides that until 4 years after the effective date of the amendatory Act, the General Assembly shall not enact any law creating any new unit of local government, including but not limited to, the division of existing units of local government. Does not apply to consolidations creating a new unit. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.  

HB 248 (Kay, R-Edwardsville) provides that the court may declare null and void any final action taken at a closed or open meeting (instead of only a closed meeting) in violation of the Act.   The bill was approved by the House Judiciary-Civil Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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.   The bill was approved by the House Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 397 (Welch, D-Westchester) as amended,removes provisions allowing the State Charter School Commission to reverse a school board's decision to deny, revoke, or not renew a charter. The bill was approved by the House Education: Charter School Policy Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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). The bill was approved by the House Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 1498 (Bennett, T., R-Watseka), an Alliance initiative, as amended, allows for an Open Meetings Act exemption for school boards to discuss school building safety and security. The bill was approved by the House State Government Administration Committeeand was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 1509 (Ford, D-Chicago) MANDATE 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. The bill was approved by the House Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HJR 26 ( Zalewski, D-Riverside) encourages the Illinois Department of Public Health to promulgate administrative rules pursuant to the requirement for health examinations and immunizations within the School Code and to expedite this process in order to have such rules in place for the 2015-16 school year. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HR 144 ( Zalewski) encourages the Illinois Department of Public Health to promulgate administrative rules pursuant to the requirement for health examinations and immunizations within the School Code and to expedite this process in order to have such rules in place for the 2015-16 school year. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 107 (Link, D-Gurnee) provides that accessibility improvements made to residential property shall not increase the assessed valuation of the property. The bill was approved by the Senate Revenue Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 1319 (Martinez, D-Chicago) as amended,makes clarifications and deletes obsolete language in the School Code. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

ALLIANCE & VISION 20/20 BILL ACTION

Alliance and Vision 20/20 legislation is active in the Illinois General Assembly as bills are being posted to be heard in committees and many have made it past the committee stage to be heard by the full body in either the House or Senate. These critical measures for schools are identified as such in the bill descriptions. Please take a moment to contact your legislator, especially if they are a committee member hearing these bills. You can find the committees your representative or senator serves on by going to www.ilga.gov.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING NEXT WEEK

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 10, 1:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Building

Subject Matter: General State Aid, East St. Louis SD 189 and North Chicago CUSD 187

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 10, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

Subject Matter:SJR 16: Spring 2015 School Code Waiver Requests

SB 7 ( Kotowski) MANDATErequiring the governing body of each school district and charter school with students enrolled who participate in an interscholastic athletic activity to appoint or approve a concussion oversight team.

SB 778 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) provides that a school board's concussion and head injury policy must require that a student athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game be removed from play at that time.

SB 1198 ( Barickman, R-Bloomington) an Alliance initiative, repeals the onerous third party contracting provisions of the School Code allowing school districts to contract for non-instructional services.

SB 1340 (Anderson, R-Moline) requires the School Security and Standards Task Force to submit a report to the General Assembly and the governor on or before Jan. 1, 2016 and the State Board of Education on or before July 1, 2016 (instead of on or before Jan. 1, 2015).

SB 1450 ( Kotowski) requires an association or other entity that has as one of its purposes promoting, sponsoring, regulating, or in any manner providing for interscholastic athletics or any form of athletic competition among schools and students within this state to allow special education students to participate.

SB 1455 (Delgado, D-Chicago) provides that the State Board of Education shall assess high school students using a college and career ready determination that shall be accepted by this state's public institutions of higher education for the purpose of student application or admissions consideration.

SB 1506 ( Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) a Vision 20/20 initiative, provides that, for State Board of Education appointments made after the effective date of the amendatory Act, 3 of the members of the State Board must represent the educator community.

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

SR 88 ( Lightford, D-Westchester) encourages the Illinois State Board of Education to work with school districts to inform all students with developmental disabilities and their parents that the Prioritization for Urgency of Needs for Services database is a resource that can assist them in obtaining services for their needs.

HOUSE JUDICIARY-CRIMINAL COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 10, 2:30 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Building

HB 2637 ( Crespo, D-Streamwood) a Vision 20/20 Initiative, allows school districts to save money by participating in a purchasing pool for school supplies by exempting bidding requirements for goods or services purchased through a cooperative organized in any state in the United States of America or the District of Columbia that awards contracts by a competitive process and whose membership is limited to governmental agencies.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION – LICENSING OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, March 11, 8:30 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

HB 121 (Flowers) requires the Chicago Board of Education to establish a school nurse pilot program.

HB 2657 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) a Vision 20/20 Initiative, authorizes the state superintendent of education to use moneys in the institute fund and the State Board of Education to use funds available in the Teacher Certificate Fee Revolving Fund to support the recruitment and retention of educators.

HB 2807 (Mitchell, C., D-Chicago) provides that any Illinois museum, providing state superintendent approval, shall be approved for professional development activities for teacher licensure renewal.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION – SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 11, 9:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 1484 (Ford) MANDATE requires a school district to notify all 11 th and 12 th grade students of dual credit opportunities available at local community colleges.

HB 2410 (Cabello, R-Loves Park) provides that on days when a school district is celebrating homecoming or prom, the day of attendance for a pupil whose school day is shortened to accommodate any planning or festivity may be less than 5 clock hours and shall be counted towards the 176 days of actual pupil attendance required under the Code.

HB 2443 (Kay) provides that each parent or guardian of a student in a public educational institution has the right to review learning materials and activities in advance. Any parent objecting to any harmful learning material may withdraw their student from the class and request an alternate assignment.

HB 2464 (Kay) establishes the Illinois Virtual School as a statewide virtual school to serve Illinois students in kindergarten through grade 12, and Illinois teachers and other educators, to be funded through an annual state appropriation to meet the operation and capital needs of the Illinois Virtual School.

HB 2536 (Tryon, R-Crystal Lake) 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.

HB 2588 ( Tabares, D-Chicago) provides that a child shall not be considered neglected or abused solely because the child is not attending school in accordance with the requirements of Article 26 of the School Code.

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

HB 2672 (Andrade, D-Chicago) with respect to the student member of a local school council for a secondary attendance center, provides for his or her an election by 10th and 11th grade students (instead of being appointed by the Chicago Board of Education after a non-binding, advisory poll of student preferences).

HB 2682 (Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest) provides for the expulsion of pupils by removing a pupil from a school or educational setting for a period of more than 10 school days for posing a significant threat of imminent serious harm to other pupils or to staff (instead of providing for the expulsion of pupils guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct).

HB 2683 (Davis, W.) a Vision 20/20 Initiative, creates a Differentiated Accountability Model for Illinois. Includes making changes concerning references to adequate yearly progress with respect to the State Board of Education's recognition standards for student performance and school improvement, the State Board's system of rewards for school districts and schools, the State Board's system to acknowledge schools, state interventions, and remote educational programs.

HB 2781 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) authorizes a school board, other than the Chicago Board of Education, to adopt a program for e-learning that shall permit students to receive instruction electronically, and not while physically present at school, for a limited number of days during a school year.

SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 11, 9:00 a.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 663 (Koehler, D-Peoria) an Alliance initiative, allows for an Open Meetings Act exemption for school boards to discuss safety and security measures.

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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