Distributed via Email: May 24, 2019
LEGISLATURE HEADS DOWN HOMESTRETCH
The Illinois General Assembly is fast approaching the scheduled May 31 st deadline for adjournment. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are working today (Friday). The Senate does not have session scheduled for Saturday or Sunday, but will return to the Capitol Monday. The House had scheduled session days straight through the weekend, but cancelled session for Saturday.
Lawmakers have huddled in various groups to negotiate key pending issues over the past week. Leaders and bill sponsors are meeting to find agreements on legislation regarding legalization of recreational marijuana, expanded gaming, capital projects, tax increase, and a property tax freeze. Each of these are important pieces necessary to meet the revenue requests of Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 state budget.
Other education-related legislation is still awaiting final votes as well. The bills to increase the minimum salary for teachers – SB 10 and HB 2078 – are on the Senate floor and House floor, respectively. Since nothing is ever really “dead” in the Capitol, the Alliance is still watching closely for any movement of legislation regarding P.E. (SB 1189 and HB 2234) and school consolidation (HB 3053).
PROPERTY TAX CAPS
The House Revenue and Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Monday morning at 8:30 to consider the bill that will extend property tax caps to school districts in all counties. SB 690 (Zalewski, D-Riverside) would, beginning in levy year 2022, place school districts in every county under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). PTELL sets an “extension limitation” at the lesser of 5 percent or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Under the proposal, school districts would have their “extension limitation” set at 0 percent if they are not “qualified school districts.” A “qualified school district” is one that received less than 97 percent reimbursement for certain mandated categorical grants or “did not receive the minimum funding required for that school district under the evidence-based funding formula” in the previous school fiscal year.
The Alliance opposes the bill and school board members and administrators are urged to file a witness slip to register official opposition to the proposal. The link to file a witness slip can be found here.
SB 689 (Zalewski) which would repeal the estate tax that is currently imposed in Illinois, is also scheduled for hearing in the committee.
FAFSA REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION
An amendment was filed to HB 2719 (Ammons, D-Champaign) that would require each high school student to complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a prerequisite to receive a graduation diploma. There is a provision for a waiver form to be completed by the student declaring that he/she is aware of the FAFSA application but chooses not to file one. Also, the school district “must provide to each high school student any support or assistance necessary” if a student needs assistance in completing the FAFSA.
HB 2719was approved by the Senate Education Committee and is awaiting action on the Senate floor. Here is the text of the amendment.
INTER-DISTRICT TRANSFERS OF STUDENTS
SB 449 (Lightford, D-Maywood) allows a student who is a victim of gender-based violence to transfer schools (even to another school district) immediately if the student’s continued attendance at the original school poses a risk to the student’s mental or physical well-being or safety. It also provides that a student’s disclosure of his/her status as a parent, expectant parent, or victim of gender-based violence be a mitigating circumstance in any suspension or expulsion proceeding. Many other requirements for school districts are also included affecting homebound instruction, student absences/truancy, staff training, review/revision of policies and procedures, complaint procedures, confidentiality, and student accommodations and services.
The Alliance continues to participate in discussions with the bill’s proponents to eliminate some of the school district mandates and add flexibility to schools. However, a second House amendment filed late this week still falls short and the Alliance remains opposed.
OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK
The following bills were approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration:
HB 424 (Hernandez, D-Chicago) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt rules to establish the criteria, standards, and competencies for a bilingual language interpreter who attends an individualized education program meeting to assist a parent who has limited English proficiency.
HB 822 (Halpin, D-Rock Island) allows school districts to maintain a supply of undesignated glucagon medication for treatment of diabetic symptoms and requires reporting to the student’s parents and health care provider within 24 hours of administration.
HB 2087 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) creates a distance learning option for drivers’ education, disallows a student from taking the entire driver education course through a distance learning program, and requires approval, on a case-by-case basis, by the school’s administration, the student’s driver education teacher, and the student’s parent.
HB 2265 (Lilly, D-Oak Park) requires every public elementary school to include in its 6th, 7th, or 8th grade curriculum at least one semester of civics education.
HB 3652 (Edly-Allen, D-Libertyville) requires school counselors to discuss post-secondary education options, including 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges and vocational schools with students.
HB 3659 (Ortiz, D-Chicago) provides that a charter school's governing body must include at least one parent or guardian of a pupil currently enrolled in the charter school, and requires members of a charter school governing board to complete the same training as elected school board members.
SB 28 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) would reinstate the five clock-hour provision and removes the flexibility school districts currently have to address the needs of students, and allow learning to be the main factor in determining a school day rather than the clock.
SB 117 (Barickman, R-Bloomington) for destruction of student records, transfers parental rights to students after graduation and provides that notice of destruction of records must be given to the student before they can be destroyed. The bill also expands the notice options.
SB 209 (Bertino-Tarrant) provides that under no circumstances may a petition for withdrawal from a joint special education agreement be presented to other member districts less than 12 months from the date of the proposed withdrawal.
SB 455 (Castro, D-Elgin) provides that a school district, public school, charter school, or nonpublic school must allow a school nurse or school administrator to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student.
SB 1250 (Murphy, L., D-Des Plaines) requires a school district to permit students to self-administer medications for diagnosed ailments with certain requirements. It also requires schools to adopt emergency action plans for students who self-administer medications.
SB 1601 (Sims, D-Chicago) with regard to the instruction on the history of the United States, requires that the course must also include instruction on the history of Illinois.
SB 1658 (Muñoz, D-Chicago) provides that, subject to appropriation or private donations, ISBE shall award grants to school districts to support school safety and security. The grant funds may be used for school security improvements, including professional development, safety-related upgrades to school buildings, equipment, including metal detectors and x-ray machines, and facilities, including school-based health centers.
SB 1694 (Bush, D-Grayslake) allows high schools to include in their workplace preparation studies that cover legal protections in the workplace, protection against sexual harassment, racial and other forms of discrimination, and other protections available to employees.
SB 1712 (Koehler, D-Peoria) exempts from disclosure a public body's credit card numbers, debit card numbers, bank account numbers, Federal Employer Identification Number, security code numbers, passwords, and similar account information.
SB 1731 (Koehler) provides that the in-service training on mental health may utilize the Illinois Mental Health First Aid training program that educates participants on recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorders.
SB 1746 (Belt, D-East St. Louis) provides that moneys in the working cash fund may be used by a school board for any and all school purposes and may be transferred in whole or in part to the general funds or both of the school district, and disbursed in anticipation of State funding received by the school district.
SB 2124 (Rose, R-Champaign) provides that a student must be expelled for a period of not less than one year if he or she brings to school a pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun, irrespective of the type or size of projectile that can be fired or the gun's muzzle velocity.
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