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Alliance Legislative Report 99-51

Distributed via Email: August 2, 2016


Among the many bills recently signed by Governor Bruce Rauner is a measure that will require school boards to specifically take action on travel expenses by staff and board members. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, school board members and the governing boards of community colleges and all other units of local government will be required to adopt a resolution that regulates the reimbursement of all travel, meal, and lodging expenses of officers and employees.

The Local Government Travel Expense Control Act was signed on July 22, 2016 as Public Act 99-604 (formerly HB 4379) and is effective on Jan. 1, 2017. The full text can be found here.

The Act requires school districts to adopt a policy 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. It requires that such expenses of school board members be approved by roll call vote in an open meeting and documentation to be received in writing.

School district policy regarding such expenses will be updated in the IASB policy service PRESS Issue 93 this fall. This will provide districts with sufficient time to review the policy updates and have revised policies in place by the Jan. 1, 2017 effective date.

Please contact the IASB Office of General Counsel at 630/629-3776, ext. 1219 with questions and concerns.


Governor Rauner’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission will hold its first meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 2-5 p.m. via video conference from locations in Chicago and Springfield. The panel, comprised mostly of legislators, will continue the discussion of changing the school funding formula that began in earnest in the spring legislative session.

Wednesday’s meeting will be opened by Commission Chairperson Dr. Beth Purvis who also serves as the governor’s secretary of education. She will lay out the groundwork of the Commission and provide relevant background and statistics. Also on the agenda is Michael Griffith from the Education Commission of the States who will discuss best practices in school funding from across the country and Dr. Tony Smith, Illinois state superintendent of schools who will talk about Illinois’ sources of and distribution of revenue for school districts.

The Commission is charged with making a recommendation on a new school funding formula by Feb. 1, 2017.


The School Security and Standards Task Force established by law last year has completed its work and issued its final report and recommendations. The panel met regularly from August 2015 through June 2016. No new requirements or mandates are included in the report, but specific recommendations are included based on best practices in the field of school safety. IASB had an appointment to the task force.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • A specific list of building and physical plant security measures regarding control and access of exterior and classroom doors, communications systems, and alarm systems
  • Continual review and implementation of the School Safety Drill Act and the school districts Emergency Operations Plan
  • Incorporating the “See, Hear, and Speak Up” framework into district security planning
  • Adopting the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operation Plans and the Sample School Emergency Operations Plan, both created by FEMA

The complete report can be found here.

IASB will be highlighting school safety at this year’s Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, sponsoring a School Safety and Security Seminar and offering a strand of school safety panels throughout the conference. The half-day seminar will include expert presenters, many of who served on the School Security and Standards Task Force. The topics will include school safety plans, the School Safety Drill Act, building security, and improving school culture and climate to lessen threats and hazards.

School administrators and board members are encouraged to attend the seminar, but especially invited are those who are closely involved with the school district’s safety plans and facilities. This could include assistant superintendents, principals, heads of security, school resource officers, facility directors, and more. Local responders are invited to attend as well. It is encouraged that the districts’ safety coordinator attends along with the local police and fire district representatives. School safety plans should be established and drilled with local responders involved.


HB 4352 (Bellock, R-Hinsdale) creates a definition of dyslexia in the School Code. The bill is now Public Act 99-0602, effective July 22, 2016.

HB 4360 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) provides that no one may be licensed to teach or supervise in public schools, who have been convicted of certain drug offenses, until seven years following the end of the sentence for the offense. The bill is now Public Act 99-0667, effective July 29, 2016.

HB 4367 (Bellock) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to reestablish the reading instruction advisory group and it should complete its work by Dec. 31, 2016. The bill is now Public Act 99-0603, effective July 22, 2016.

HB 4397 (Costello, D-Belleville) extends the deadline for school energy efficiency grants awarded in 2014 to four years from the date the funds were distributed. The bill is now Public Act 99-0606, effective July 22, 2016.

HB 4606 (Davis, W., D-E. Hazel Crest) makes changes concerning the determination by a school board that a pupil who is attending school in the district on a tuition free basis is a nonresident for whom tuition is required to be charged, including the contents of the notice to the person who enrolled the pupil of the amount of the tuition charged that is due, the hearing to review the determination of the school board, the school board's decision after the conclusion of the hearing, petitioning the regional superintendent of schools to review the school board's decision, the regional superintendent of schools' review of the school board's decision, and the adjustment of state aid payments. The bill is now Public Act 99-0670, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

HB 4630 (Ives, R-Wheaton) requires that all available minutes and verbatim recordings of meetings closed to the public prior to a newly elected or appointed 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. The bill is now Public Act 99-0515, effective June 30, 2016.

HB 5720 (Andrade, D-Chicago) establishes a task force on Computer Science Education to analyze the current computer science education programs, highlight best practices, and recommend to the General Assembly. An appointment to the task force is reserved for IASB, IASA, and IPA. The bill is now Public Act 99-0647, effective July 28, 2016.

HB 5729 (Burke, K., D-Evergreen Park) creates the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act wherein various agencies will jointly adopt and publicize model postsecondary and career expectations for public school students in grades 8 through 12. It also requires ISBE to establish and administer a competency-based high school graduation requirements pilot program with certain school districts. The bill is now Public Act 99-0674, effective July 29, 2016.

HB 5901 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires school districts to report for each of its schools assessment data, such as type of tests used and to which students it was offered, the administration window for the test, and estimated average time the test takes a student to complete. The bill is now Public Act 99-0590, effective July 22, 2016.

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 is now Public Act 99-0678, effective July 29, 2016.

HB 6044 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) delays the implementation of the Balanced Accountability Model until 2017-2018 with full implementation by 2022-2023. The bill is now Public Act 99-0657, effective July 28, 2016.

HB 6181 (Willis, D-Addison) allows 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 is now Public Act 99-0591, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

SB 238 (Lightford, D-Maywood) p rovides that not less than 14 percent of the Early Childhood Education Block Grant allocation of funds (instead of not less than 20 percent of the grant) shall be used to fund programs for children ages 0-3. The bill is now Public Act 99-0589, effective July 21, 2016.

SB 2440 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood) extends the allowance of a Principal Endorsement to June 30, 2021 if a person has four total years of teaching or working as school support personnel. The bill is now Public Act 99-0623, effective July 22, 2016.

SB 2970 (Lightford) adds requirements districts must comply with when they apply for funds for the education of gifted and talented children, including using assessments that 1) are equitable to and inclusive of underrepresented groups, 2) assess both demonstrated achievement and potential for achievement, and 3) use score ranges that are appropriate for the school or district population. The bill is now Public Act 99-0706, effective July 29, 2016.

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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