IASB Member School Boards Revisit School Safety Resolutions

IASB Member School Boards Revisit School Safety Resolutions
November 23, 2019

School boards in Illinois have voted against a proposed resolution that would call for the Illinois Association of School Boards to support legislation that would allow school districts to set school safety and student protection policies that would allow trained, armed school teachers and staff. For the second year, a proposal on this topic was not adopted by the IASB Delegate Assembly.

The vote tally was 198 in favor of the adoption of the resolution, 249 against. The intent of the proposed resolution was to give local school districts the authority to decide what is best for their communities in the areas of school safety and student protection. The resolution was supported primarily by rural school districts with concerns about emergency response time and lack of financial resources to employ school resource officers. Districts opposing the measure opined that arming staff would not create a safer environment for their students. 

A related resolution, one calling for IASB to advocate for state school safety grants for hiring school resource officers or school security personnel, was adopted.

A proposed resolution that would allow a school district that previously established a professional police force to re-establish it was adopted.

In addition to setting legislative priorities, IASB delegates elected Thomas Neeley, a member of the Morton CUSD 709 Board of Education, to a one-year term as president of the Association. Simon Kampwerth Jr., a member of the Peru ESD 124 Board of Education, was elected vice president. The Association’s immediate past president is Joanne Osmond, a member of the Lake Villa CCSD 41 Board of Education. Delegates also received the Association’s financial report and a written annual report from IASB Executive Director Thomas Bertrand.

Representatives from IASB member school boards considered a total of 18 resolutions at the Delegate Assembly, which establishes IASB’s positions on legislation and related matters of public policy. The assembly was held November 23 in conjunction with the 2019 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.

In other resolutions action, the Delegate Assembly 

  • Approved a resolution that would support school districts considering social responsibility goals -- such as preferences for businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans -- in contracting.

  • Approved a school safety recommendation regarding traffic zones.

  • Approved support for the centralization, through Regional Offices of Education, of background check processes for substitute teachers.

  • Approved two resolutions involving terms and seating of school board members. 

  • Approved resolutions concerning the renewal of charter schools and requirements to service at-risk students.

  • Considered and adopted amendments to position statements on topics of the Prevailing Wage Act, educational programs, charter school funding, and special education funding. 

  • Reaffirmed existing positions on standardized test procedures and student assessments. 

  • Proposals relating to school board member swearing in and school board member compensation were not recommended or called for a vote.

Each resolution is originally proposed by a local school board, reviewed by a 21-member Resolutions Committee, and then brought before the Delegate Assembly for any discussion and vote. The adopted resolutions set IASB’s policies and establish the legislative direction of the Association and its member districts.

Click here for a FAQ on the IASB Resolutions Process, including links to related resources.