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Alliance Legislative Report 99-14

Distributed via Email: March 31, 2015


A panel established by Governor Bruce Rauner is looking for input from school districts regarding burdensome unfunded mandates. The Alliance will be testifying before the group Thursday, as IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy has been requested to appear before the panel on behalf of local school districts. In order to bolster the argument against unfunded mandates on local school districts, school board members and administrators are encouraged to contact the Task Force with specific examples of how these requirements cause fiscal harm and interfere with local space and time requirements.

The link to submit input is here.

Governor Rauner signed the Executive Order to create the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force in February. The task force’s mission is “to reduce the heavy burden on Illinois taxpayers by empowering citizens and government officials to streamline local government through consolidation and eliminating unnecessary state mandates.” Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti is chairing the task force.

A Vision 20/20 proposal also addresses the issue of unfunded mandates on school districts. HB 3535 (Golar, D-Chicago) provides a process whereby a local school board could waive or modify certain state mandates. School districts are urged to continue to push legislators to support HB 3535. More information on the bill can be found on the Vision 20/20 website (scroll down to HB 3535).

The full text of HB 3535 can be found here.

The Alliance has also had introduced HB 3480 (Burke, K., D-Oak Lawn), regarding mandate cost transparency. It requires accurate estimates of the cost of proposed mandates on school districts under the State Mandates Act.

As an example of the proliferation of new unfunded mandates, here is a sampling of bills introduced this year alone:

SB 7 (Raoul) requires training for staff and accommodations for students who have suffered concussions.
SB 26 (Morrison) requires school boards to additionally publish all notices on their webpage.
SB 100 (Lightford) requires changes to student suspension/expulsion procedures and requires policies.
SB 1793 (Hastings) requires new suicide awareness/prevention policies and requires new training.
SB 1905 (Lightford) adds to high school graduation requirements an additional year of foreign language.
HB 1 (Lang) requires staff that can treat opioid overdoses to annually receive instruction and pass a test.
HB 117 (Flowers) requires a school board to waive all or part of summer school charges.
HB 152 (Willis) requires schools to be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms or C/O detectors.
HB 1402 (Jones) requires instruction in Black History to be completed in 8th grade and high school.
HB 1410 (Bennett) requires behind-the-wheel instruction to incorporate motorcycle safety and awareness.
HB 1436 (Franks) requires the school safety drill annual report to include changes in floor plans.
HB 1509 (Ford) requires school boards to adopt new policies regarding student sexting.
HB 2717 (Ives) requires school districts to maintain an internet website and post detailed information.
HB 3159 (Gabel) requires the reporting of information on required dental examinations.
HB 3165 (Burke, D.) requires all CPR and AED instructors in schools to be certified by the Red Cross.
HB 3198 (Chapa LaVia) requires a review and update of attendance and absenteeism policies.
HB 3286 (Flowers) requires one semester of instruction in the 6 th grade on civics education.
HB 3337 (Welch) requires all school districts to offer full-day kindergarten.
HB 4025 (Conroy) requires a separate civics course of study in school curricula.


As reported in the last two Alliance Legislative Reports, the General Assembly has taken action to further cut the current Fiscal Year 2015 state budget, including the education budget. According to staff at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), they are currently putting together a plan for how the remainder of the year’s funds will be distributed. The plan will be presented to the Board at the April 15 th meeting. A breakdown of the difference between the FY 2015 enacted budget and HB 317 is available on the ISBE budget webpage.

The budget bill does not only affect General State Aid, but also the mandated categorical grants. According to ISBE, 2013-14 claims payable in Fiscal Year 2015 have been recomputed at the new appropriation levels effective with the March quarterly payments. The new proration percentages are as follows:

Special Education Personnel – 98 percent, previously 100 percent
Special Education Private Facility – 94 percent, previously 97 percent
Special Education Funding for Children Requiring Special Education Services - 98 percent, previously 100 percent
Special Education Transportation – 95 percent, previously 97 percent
Regular/Vocational Transportation – 71 percent, previously 72 percent


The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in collaboration with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will be providing training and technical assistance over the next year to local school districts, and well into the future, to support district-level emergency planning. The goal of the partnership is to assist districts to develop high-quality emergency operations plans. In order for the program to best serve districts, an ISBE survey will be released shortly that asks a series of questions regarding district emergency planning. Entitled, District Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Self-Assessment Tool, the survey will help guide training and resource needs statewide. 

In the coming days, a link will be sent to districts by ISBE asking for participation in the survey. Please note that the survey does not gauge compliance with applicable law. Rather, it is designed to inform future training and resource offerings to districts. 

The Alliance encourages administrators to watch for this upcoming tool and participate in the survey. Again, it is not judging compliance and will not trigger any future sanctions or audits. It will, however, provide results which could assist the state in securing federal school safety funds for future IEMA school district grants.

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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