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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-41

Distributed via Email: April 8, 2016

SCHOOL FORMULA REWRITE PROPOSED

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) , the sponsor of the school formula re-write bill (SB 16) from two years ago, has proposed a new school funding formula. The text has been filed as Senate Amendment 1 on SB 231. According to the sponsor, the language starts with the basic components of SB 16 but with revisions that were discussed over the last two years. The basic premise will still be to direct state funding to those school districts that are in the most need.

Like in the original plan, it would collapse special education funding into the General State Aid (GSA) formula so those dollars would also be distributed based on need.

One of the new tweaks to the legislation would include a hold harmless provision, guaranteeing that no school district would lose funding because of the formula changes in the first year. Then the new formula would be phased in over four years so school districts that would eventually receive less state funding would have the opportunity to plan and make adjustments accordingly.

The proposal also includes provisions to eliminate the block grant funding for Chicago Public Schools, but then give the district $200 million annually to support the teachers’ pension fund.

Another new component in the proposal is to give school districts flexibility in the use of property tax funds by allowing to increase the tax rate in one fund (for instance, the transportation fund) but use those monies in another fund (like the education fund).

According to the sponsor, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has been asked to run the numbers to see what the breakdown is for each school district under the plan. The Alliance will be providing more information on this proposal as it becomes available.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and were sent to the House floor for further consideration:

HB 818 (Walsh, D-Joliet) , as amended, allows for increased bonded indebtedness for Laraway CCSD 70C up to $35 million.

HB 4227 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake) increasing the length of school term from 176 days to 181 student contact days and from 180 to 183 days for schools utilizing a “balanced calendar.”

HB 4330 (Wheeler) requires state colleges and universities to accept the “State Seal of Biliteracy” as equivalent to two years of foreign language coursework taken during high school and establishes a process for creation of course content for students seeking the designation.

HB 4343 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) extends the date for the first report of the Illinois Attendance Commission to March 15, 2016.

HB 4362 (Unes, R- Pekin) , as amended, requires ISBE to contract with two vendors to administer college entrance exams and requires ISBE to pay school districts to administer at least one exam, of the district’s choice to students.

HB 4380 (McSweeney, R-Cary) , as amended, requires ISBE to contract with ACT and SAT for assessment of high school students and allows each school district to choose one to administer, paid for by ISBE. If, by federal requirement, PARCC continues to be a high school required assessment, school districts will be required to comply.

HB 4397 (Costello, D-Red Bud) extends the deadline for school energy efficiency grants awarded in 2014 to four years from the date the funds were distributed.

HB 4432 (Moffitt, R-Galesburg) allows a child in any of grades 6-12 to be absent from a public school on a particular day for the purpose of sounding "Taps" at a military honors.

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 4996 (Welch, D-Westchester) requiring schools to appoint a person to act as liaison with DCFS.

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 5570 (Sims, D-Chicago) requires the ISBE to establish guidelines for a high-skilled manufacturing curriculum for vocational education programs.

HB 5720 (Andrade, D-Chicago) establishes a task force on Computer Science Education.

HB 5822 (Drury, D-Highwood) requires school districts to conspicuously display the nutritional information of all food items offered for sale to students on school property.

HB 5901 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires the principal of each public school to report to ISBE certain information concerning the administration of assessments to students.

HB 5911 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires school districts to report to ISBE additional information regarding children receiving the required dental examination.

HB 6136 (Wallace, D-Rockford) creates the Advisory Council on At-Risk Students within ISBE.

HB 6252 (Willis, D-Northlake) allows a certain school district to withdraw from a special education joint agreement.

HB 6299 (Andrade) would grant recall rights to education support personnel.

HB 6333 (Gabel, D-Chicago) , as amended, requires ISBE to create a model asthma episode emergency response protocol to be adopted by school districts.

The following bills were approved by the Senate Education Committee and were sent to the Senate floor for further consideration:

SB 2137 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) , as amended, would require teacher training, at least once every two years, on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act during teacher institutes.

SB 2264 (Haine, D-Alton), as amended, allows resident pupils who are enrolled in nonpublic schools to participate in public school-sponsored athletic or extracurricular activities, at the elementary school level, that are not selective with respect to who may participate, for five years.

SB 2393 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) , as amended, would require school districts to provide breakfast “after the bell” to students if 70% or more are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, are classified as low-income, or can be claimed for free or reduced-price meals.

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 2912 (Luechtefeld, R- Okawville) a Vision 20/20 initiative, is comprehensive licensure reform that would bring flexibility to hiring teachers from out of state and create a new short-term substitute license.

SB 2970 (Lightford, D-Westchester) , as amended, makes changes to the gifted education program requirements concerning assessments and the selection process.

SB 2990 (Bush, D-Grayslake) makes various changes concerning the purpose and applicability of Article 7, school district boundary changes.

SB 3315 (Bennett, D-Champaign) creates the Advisory Committee on Workforce Shortages to conduct a thorough review of existing career and technical education programs in the state and to identify industries and occupations within the state that face workforce shortages.

SB 3319 (Lightford) provides that a student who is already licensed to teach, and is enrolled in a course of study leading to an additional teaching endorsement or a master's degree in an academic field in which he or she is teaching or plans to teach, may participate in the Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarship program.

Other bill action included:

HB 3297 (Mitchell, C.-D-Chicago) provides that employees shall accrue paid health care time at a rate of not less than one hour for every 22 hours worked for an employer with 50 or more employees and at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked for an employer with fewer than 50 employees. The bill was approved by the House Labor Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 3760 (Franks, D-Woodstock) requires municipalities and other local governments to report on the annual financial report, the annual value of any tax abatement or tax increment financing affecting a unit of local government. The bill was approved by the House Revenue & Finance Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4036 (Lilly, D-Chicago) extends FMLA to all employers for employee leave related to domestic violence. The bill was approved by the House Labor Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4234 (Ford, D-Chicago) requiring schools to notify parents of a student suspension by certified mail and the suspension cannot commence until it is received. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes in the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Curriculum & Policies Committee and was held in the Committee.

HB 4301 (Crespo) would allow school districts meeting certain geographic specifications to employ a Chief Executive Officer who does not have traditional superintendent credentials if on his/her staff there are properly licensed assistant superintendents or directors in the areas of instruction, finance, special education, assessments, and career and technology education. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes in the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was held in the Committee.

HB 5024 (Chapa LaVia) would allow a regional superintendent of schools to serve even though he/she does meet all of the current qualifications to serve in such position if he/she has teaching experience, has on staff a qualified assistant regional superintendent who meets all current qualifications, and who has in that particular regional office of education in an administrative capacity for at least five years. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5522 (Ives, R-Wheaton) requires a unit of local government or school district with an operating budget of $1 million or more to maintain an website and post to that website, for the current calendar or fiscal year, the following information: (1) information about elected and appointed officials; (2) notice of and materials prepared for meetings; (3) procedures for requesting information from the unit of local government or school district; (4) annual budget; (5) ordinances; (6) procedures to apply for building permits and zoning variances; (7) financial reports and audits; (8) information concerning employee compensation; (9) contracts with lobbying firms; (10) taxes and fees imposed by the unit of local government or school district; (11) rules governing the award of contracts; (12) bids and contracts worth $25,000 or more; (13) a debt disclosure report; and (14) public notices. The bill was approved by the House Counties & Townships Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5793 (Ives) provides that a school district's driver education course shall include instruction on proper procedures following a vehicle stop by a law enforcement officer. The bill was approved by the House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Judiciary-Civil Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 5918 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years (instead of may be granted for a period not less than five and not more than 10 school years) and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten (instead of five) school years. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary: Charter School Policy Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 6128 (Chapa LaVia) allows persons to have completed a comparable preparation program in another state to earn a Professional Educator License. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 6131 (Hurley, D-Chicago) provides that a driver education course shall include instruction concerning law enforcement procedures for traffic stops, including a demonstration of the proper actions to be taken during a traffic stop and appropriate interactions with law enforcement. The bill was approved by the House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 6164 (Sandack, R-Downers Grove) provides flexibility for school districts to contract for non-instructional services and allows certain students to request a waiver from P.E. if they are receiving appropriate physical exercise   through other means. The school board must have a public hearing to discuss any such waiver policy. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes in the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee (11-11 vote) and was held in the Committee.

HB 6181 (Willis) provides that ISBE shall allow educators to earn professional development hours during the final three months of the school year and enter those professional development hours into the Educator Licensure Information System. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 436 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) ,as amended, provides that beginning Jan. 1, 2016 TRS employers will pay a percentage of salary equal to the total employer’s normal cost of payroll as determined by TRS for employees funded with federal funds. Instead of the total minimum contribution made by the state including both normal cost and unfunded liability. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2147 (Hutchinson, D-Chicago Hgts.) requires employers to provide specified paid sick days to employees. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2596 (Link-D-Gurnee) provides that a group or individual policy of accident and health insurance or managed care plan must provide coverage for medically necessary preventative physical or rehabilitative therapy for insureds diagnosed with multiple sclerosis without any treatment limitation or calendar year maximum as determined by the patient's treating physician. The bill was approved by the Senate Insurance Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2613 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) provides that an employee may use specified amounts of bereavement leave to grieve the death of the employee's child, attend services in relation to the death of the employee's child, or make arrangements necessitated by the death of the employee's child. The bill was approved by the Senate Labor Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 2896 (Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that if an employer fails to notify the Board to suspend the annuity of an annuitant who returns to service as a participating employee, the employer may be required to reimburse the fund for an amount up to the total of any annuity payments made to the annuitant after the date the annuity should have been suspended, as determined by the Board, less any amount actually repaid by the annuitant. The bill was approved by the Senate Licensed Activities & Pensions Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING NEXT WEEK

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, April 12, 2:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 2144 (Lightford) provides that, in Chicago, a 4-year university may serve as the authorizer for a multi-site charter school devoted exclusively to re-enrolled high school dropouts.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 13, 8:30 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 6044 (Chapa LaVia) changes references relating to contractual continued service and thesState aid formula in provisions concerning boundary changes, the deactivation of school facilities, cooperative high schools, a pilot cooperative elementary school and pilot cooperative high school, and school district conversions.

HB 822 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) , as amended, requires schools to post at student eye-level, 11x17 posters of child abuse DCFS hotline information and directions for accessing the website.

HB 825 (Yingling),as amended, allows Round Lake CUSD 116 a P.E. waiver for 6-12 th grade students, with stipulations.

HB 4240 (Flowers, D-Chicago) , as amended, may require parents of truant students who knowingly and willfully persist in allowing their child to be absent from school, to complete a parent education course and family counseling and removes penalties and fines.

HOUSE LABOR & COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 13, 9:30 a.m., Room 413, Stratton Building

HB 6162 (Skoog, D-Peru) requires employers to grant use of sick leave including illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.

SENATE LABOR COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 13, 9:30 a.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 3097 (Collins, D-Chicago) requires employers to grant use of sick leave including illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.

SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, April 13, 4:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 2270 (Stadelman) provides that units of local government (including school districts and public colleges and universities) shall limit contracts or appointments with auditors to 5 years and shall competitively bid auditor contracts or appointments.

SB 2324 (Cullerton, T. D-Villa Park) directs ISBE to provide a report before Jan. 1, 2017 recommending which school districts should be consolidated or dissolved.

SB 3181 (Oberweis, R- N.Aurora) provides that a school district or unit of local government may publish any notice, agenda, record, or other information or material required by law electronically instead of in a newspaper. Further provides that any requirement to store or maintain any public record in microfilm or microfiche form shall be satisfied by the school district or unit of local government's maintenance of such public record in digital form.

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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