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Alliance Legislative Report 99-46

Distributed via Email: May 20, 2016


Another new K-12 education budget proposal may soon be emerging in the Capitol. The plan acknowledges that the current school funding distribution formula is inadequate and would suspend the use of the formula for Fiscal Year 2017. Instead for FY 2017, school districts would receive the same amount of General State Aid funding they received in FY 2016, plus a share of an additional $500 million that would be distributed separately based on student poverty counts. This new funding block would be defined as the “Equity Grant.”

According to architects of the plan, school districts would generally receive no less funding than they are receiving this current year, plus all districts would receive additional funding based upon the proportion dollar amount of funding each district received from the “poverty grant” in FY 16. Mandated categorical grants and other line items would generally be funded at FY 16 levels.

In the proposal, the current funding formula is not repealed, but simply suspended for FY 2017 to allow for time to study potential new funding formulas. Two possible replacement funding formulas being discussed to begin in FY 2018 are the plan embraced in Senator Andy Manar’s SB 231, and the Evidenced-Based Funding Model that was outlined in the funding pillar of the Vision 20-20 plan. Many common themes run throughout these two models. Proponents of SB 231 are still focused on passage of their plan for implementation in FY 2017.

Based on input from school administrators and school board members throughout this year, the first priority of the Alliance is to ensure that a FY 2017 K-12 budget is approved before the adjournment of the legislative session. This is crucial for school districts to plan for school openings in the fall.

The Alliance is also actively involved in discussions in the Capitol regarding a long-term revision to the school funding formula, concentrating on adding key aspects of the Evidenced-Based Funding Model. The Alliance, along with the Vision 20-20 partners, will be hosting a meeting early next week with key education and appropriation leaders in the legislature to discuss long-term funding options, including implementation of components of the evidenced-based plan.

Alliance members are encouraged to continue the dialogue with their legislators explaining why adopting a FY 2017 K-12 budget is imperative before adjournment of the legislative session and that revisions to the current school funding formula are necessary.


The following bills were approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for further consideration:

HB 2262 (Mitchell, R-Decatur) provides that the minimum amount of $2 million of liability insurance required for a vehicle with a school bus driver permit may be satisfied by either a $2 million combined single limit primary commercial automobile policy, or a $1 million primary commercial automobile policy and a minimum $5 million excess or umbrella liability policy.

HB 3199 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) requires charter schools to comply with all absenteeism and truancy policies applicable to public schools.

HB 4330 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake) 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 the creation of course content for students seeking the designation.

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

HB 4352 ( Bellock, R-Westmont) creates a definition of dyslexia in the School Code.

HB 4367 ( Bellock) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to reestablish the reading instruction advisory group and that they should complete their work by Dec. 31, 2016.

HB 4379 ( McSweeney, R-Cary) requires school districts to regulate travel, meal, and lodging expenses of officers and employees including: the types of official business for which the expenses are allowable, maximum allowable reimbursements, and a standardized form for submission of expenses.

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

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for further consideration:

SB 2440 ( Bertino-Tarrant, D- Shorewood) allows for a principal endorsement to be affixed to a Professional Educator License if a person has, among other qualifications, at least four total years of experience teaching or four total years of experience working in the capacity of school support personnel.

SB 2505 ( Steans, D-Chicago) provides that scores of four or higher on International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme examinations shall be accepted for credit to satisfy degree requirements by all public institutions of higher education.

SB 2964 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) sets Prevailing Wage levels throughout the state in statute based on bargaining agreements in the locality.

Other bill action :

HB 2736 (Arroyo, D-Chicago) moves the cut-off date for five year olds enrolling in Kindergarten from September 1 st to December 1 st. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor.

SB 238 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) p rovides that not less than 14 percent of the Early Childhood Education Block Grant allocation of funds shall be used to fund programs for children ages 0-3. The bill was approved by the House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 240 ( Lightford) extends the work of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council to June 30, 2021. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 565 ( Lightford) r equires an age-appropriate developmental and social and emotional screening to be included as part of the examinations and procedures that constitute a health examination. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2227 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall submit a bi-yearly review and report on mandates (beginning in 2019) detailing the nature and scope of each existing state mandate enacted the previous two years and another review and report every 10 years (beginning in 2017) on all effective mandates. The bill was approved by the House Cities & Villages Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2393 (Harmon) would require school districts to provide breakfast to students if 70 percent 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. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor.

SB 2835( Manar, D-Bunker Hill) r equires a vehicle to stop before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils. The bill was approved by the House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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.  The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.   


Tuesday, May 24, 2:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 397 (Holmes) removes provisions allowing the State Charter School Commission to reverse a school board's decision to deny, revoke, or not renew a charter.

HB 810 (Delgado, D-Chicago) adds provisions concerning student and educator data privacy. It sets forth provisions allowing disclosure of student records to researchers at an accredited post-secondary educational institution or an organization conducting research if specified requirements are met.

Tuesday, May 24, 3:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

SB 2186 ( Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that a school district is subject to and its school board must comply with any valid local government zoning ordinance or resolution that applies where the pertinent part of the school district is located.

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 2469 ( Lightford) creates the State Global Scholar Certification Program to recognize public high school graduates who have attained global competence, sufficient for meaningful use in college and a career.

SB 2566 (Sandoval, D-Cicero) provides that quick-take proceedings may be used for a period of no more than one year after the effective date by the Cicero Public School District 99 in Cook County for the acquisition of certain described property for the purpose of early childhood schools.

Thursday, May 26, 9:00 a.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 4362 ( Unes, R- Pekin) 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 to students, at the district’s choice. 

The Alliance has been supportive of the legislation so that school districts would have options to meet the needs of their community and students. Additionally, this effort would give parents and students a meaningful measure of their student’s progress and provide a first step to college entrance. This effort would also allow a longer phase in of a new SAT exam that does not currently represent the “standard” for most Illinois Colleges and Universities for post-secondary education. School administrators and board members are encouraged to contact the members of the Senate committee to voice support of this measure.

Chairman, William Delgado (D)          217-782-5652

Vice Chairman, Kimberly Lightford (D)         217-782-8505

Republican Spokesperson: David Luechtefeld (R)     217-782-8137

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D)   217-782-0052

Senator Daniel Biss (D)           217-782-2119

Senator Melinda Bush (D)       217-782-7353

Senator Andy Manar (D)         217-782-0228

Senator Iris Martinez (D)         217-782-8191

Senator Julie Morrison (D)       217-782-3650

Senator Michael Noland (D)    217-782-7746

Senator Steve Stadelman (D) 217-782-8022

Senator Jason Barickman (R)   217-782-6597

Senator Karen McConnaughay (R)     217-782-1977

Senator Sue Rezin (R)             217-782-3840

Senator Chapin Rose (R)         217-558-1006

Thursday, May 26, 11:00 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

SB 235 ( Bertino-Tarrant) increases the number of days a retired teacher or administrator may work from 100 days to 120 days.

SB 2896 ( Althoff) in response to Alliance concerns the bill was amended toprovide annual notice to IMRF annuitants that they must report employment with an IMRF employer, reimbursement to the fund is shared when a violation occurs and for employers only when they have knowingly failed to notify IMRF to suspend the annuity. The reimbursement provisions do not apply if the annuitant returned to work with the employer for less than 12 months.  


The following bills are pending on the Senate floor:

HB 4036 (Lilly, D-Chicago) extends FMLA to all employers for employee leave related to domestic violence.

HB 4232 (Reis, R-Olney) makes re-appropriations from the School Construction Fund and the Capital Development Fund for ongoing school construction and improvements for Fiscal Year 2016.

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 4630 (Ives, R-Wheaton) requires that any and all available minutes and verbatim recordings of meetings closed to the public prior to a newly elected official's term in a public body shall be available to that official for review, regardless of whether those minutes or verbatim recordings are confidential.

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 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 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.

HB 6044 (Chapa LaVia) contains ISBE’s “clean-up” language to delete obsolete and duplicative language from the School Code.

HB 6131 (Hurley, D-Chicago) provides that a driver education course (whether offered by a public school, a non-public school, or a driver training school) 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.

HB 6299 (Andrade, D-Chicago) provides that if ESP is dismissed as a result of a RIF and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district.  

SB 2823 (Koehler, D-Peoria) in the case of a residential property constructed or renovated by students as part of a curricular program, allows a school board, by a resolution adopted by at least two-thirds of the board members, to engage the services of a licensed real estate broker to sell the property for a commission not to exceed 7 percent, contingent on the sale of the property within 120 days.

The following bills are pending on the floor of the House of Representatives:

SB 2612 (Koehler) p rovides that a Division of the Code concerning the assessment of wind energy devices applies through assessment year 2021 instead of 2016.

SB 2912 ( Luechtefeld, R- Okawville) makes changes to teacher licensure laws in line with those suggested by Vision 20/20. It addresses provisional in-state educator endorsements, provisional career and technical educator endorsements, substitute teacher licenses (by removing the provision that requires a test of basic skills for renewal), teacher leader endorsements, and minimum requirements for educators trained in other states.

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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