Illinois General Assembly Committees CommenceThe 102nd General Assembly has been conducting virtual committee hearings for several weeks now. The hearings have been mostly subject matter only, with no discussion on the thousands of bills filed. That is set to change now as the House and Senate have several bills scheduled for discussion. A comprehensive list of bills due to be heard in committee can be found toward the end of this report.
Forced School ConsolidationHouse Bill 7 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) would force school consolidations across the State of Illinois. Current law provides a detailed plan for community-initiated school consolidation, but the plan contained in HB 7 would put the power to consolidate schools into the hands of an appointed board. Consolidation is a local decision and it should remain that way. Please help us to oppose House Bill 7 by sending an email to the members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing, and Charter Schools Committee through our online advocacy system.
Isolated Time Out and Student RestraintThe management of isolated timeout and student restraint in Illinois schools has been a major policy issue in recent years. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) adopted rules and legislation was introduced to curb the practice. The legislation has yet to become law, but House Bill 219 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) has been introduced to change that. Through much negotiation, the Statewide School Management Alliance has negotiated several key changes to this bill. The definition of isolated timeout does not include disciplinary actions such as detention or suspension. Schools that do not use isolated timeout will not be subject to the requirements in the bill. House Bill 219 shows that advocating on behalf of your school district has a big impact and can make previously burdensome legislative proposals more manageable.
E-Learning on Election DayUnder a proposal in the House, Election Day would become an optional e-learning day for a school district. House Bill 4 (Mayfield) is an Alliance initiative that will make sure the learning process continues even if a school building is selected to serve as a polling place. The selection of a school as a polling place can cause logistical, financial and most importantly student safety issues. By allowing schools to use e-learning on Election Day, students can be taught in an environment that is free of distraction and potential danger.
Bills Scheduled for Committee Next WeekWatch or listen to Virtual Committee Hearings from the House of Representatives on the Illinois General Assembly website.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Monday, March 1, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 71 (Flowers, D-Chicago) appropriates $26 million to Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide a grant for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to hire school nurses.
HB 94 (Flowers) appropriates $1 million for Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for autism programs.
HB 233 (Hernandez, E., D-Cicero) appropriates $3 million for Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for English language learner support software for school district instruction.
HB 273 (Wilhour, R-Effingham) requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide a voucher for parents who wish to relocate their children to schools offering full-time, in-person instruction.
HOUSE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 2, 3 p.m., Virtual Room 2
HB 40 (Hurley, D-Chicago) provides that a student whose 22nd birthday occurs during the school year is eligible for special education services through the end of the school year.
HB 61 (Stuart, D-Collinsville) requires school district health insurance plans to cover prescription inhalants.
HB 78 (Flowers), for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), requires the Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local departments of public health to conduct lead testing at public school facilities. If lead levels are deemed unsafe in a school, students may transfer to any other school within or outside the district.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 3, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 8 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) requires high schools to offer home economics.
HB 15 (Tarver, D-Chicago) requires school districts with more than 275,000 inhabitants to provide written notification to parents of students who commit or are a victim of an act of misconduct and any statement made by the perpetrating student must be provided to the parents within 24 hours. Also, any disciplinary report must be provided to the parent.
HB 24 (West, D-Rockford) provides that sex education course material and instruction for grades 6-12 must include sexting, the importance of internet safety, identification of support personnel in the school district/community who can provide assistance, and development of strategies for resisting peer pressure.
HB 26 (Mah, D-Chicago) requires third-party online curriculum to be accessible to disabled students.
HB 79 (Flowers) requires the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education curriculum to include medical and legal ramifications of cannabis use.
HB 80 (Flowers) requires a certain set of books about racism to be required reading in every public school.
HB 81 (Flowers) requires character education to include teaching of respect toward a person’s race, ethnicity, and gender. Also requires reporting instruction on character education for the school report card.
HB 82 (Flowers) requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop a program facilitating education in advanced manufacturing skills.
HB 102 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) requires Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to establish a Childhood Anaphylactic Policy requiring school districts implement and notify parents of the policy and update once every three years.
HB 163 (Keicher, R-Sycamore) provides that if a dependent of active United States military personnel is a nonresident of the school district and his or her parent or guardian is being transferred to a military installation located within the district, then the district must permit the dependent to enroll in school and must not charge the dependent nonresident tuition.
HB 169 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) requires superintendents to develop and distribute information about absence for religious purposes, how the school should be notified by parents, and the process for making up school work missed.
HB 219 (Carroll) requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to create a grant program for schools to implement school-wide behavioral interventions. Limits a school district’s use of time out and physical restraint used only under certain circumstances, provides for certain prohibitions and information provided to parents.
HB 224 (Jones, D-South Holland) under the 21st-Century Community Learning Center Grant requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in FY 2022 only, to award grants establishing 50 after school programs in 50 disadvantaged communities where the household income is greater than 95% of the poverty guidelines.
HB 234 (Hernandez, E.) provides that, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, every public high school may include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy.
HB 290 (Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) requires school districts to notify parents of special education students that they may be eligible for additional services, benefits or resources no later than 30 days of the implementation of the IEP and every year thereafter.
House Labor & Commerce Committee
Wednesday, March 3, Noon, Virtual Room 1
HB 74 (Flowers) creates the Paid Family Leave Act requiring employers of 50 or more employees to provide six weeks of paid family leave for birth of a child, care for an adopted child under 18 years or a family member with a serious health condition.
HB 75 (Flowers) requires school districts to calculate paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child allowing that the days do not have to be taken consecutively, immediately after birth or adoption, and disallows the district from counting any day in which school is not in session.
HB 114 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires any renewal of a certified charter school to include a union neutrality clause and requires any charter school proposal to contain the clause.
HOUSE EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING, & CHARTER SCHOOLS COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 3, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 4 (Mayfield) allows student instruction to be delivered electronically as an e-learning day when a school is required to be used as a polling place.
HB 7 (Mayfield) creates the School District Efficiency Commission that would identify, before May 1, 2022, no less than 25% of school districts in Illinois that will be required to hold a referendum to consolidate in the next general election. Regional superintendents would be required to notice the public, approve or disapprove the proposition, and submit the proposal to the State Superintendent for review and approval before going before the voters.
HB 18 (Scherer, D-Decatur) changes the timeline for teacher evaluations from every two years to every three years and requires that the excellent or proficient rating is evaluated at least once every two years.
HB 30 (Delgado, D-Chicago) requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to review standards and policies to help address bias, discrimination, and inequity by including diverse and historically underrepresented people.
HB 38 (West) requires school districts with 3,000 or more students to interview a minimum percentage of minority candidates for teaching positions. If the school district is unable to interview the required minimum percentage for two years, requires the district to recruit school district employees to seek a teaching license.
HB 41 (Stuart, D-Collinsville) requires Illinois school districts to offer parents of special education students special education services provided by in-state facilities providing comparable services to out-of-state facilities. Also requires the school district to annually review out-of-state placement and offer in-state placement.
HB 156 (Hernandez, B., D-Aurora) requires school districts to provide menstrual hygiene products in every bathroom of every school building.
HB 160 (Didech) requires schools to excuse students participating in religious fasting from physical education courses.
HB 167 (Didech) allows law enforcement agencies Tier 1 and Tier 2 school districts with School Resource Officer to receive grants to offset the cost.
HB 195 (Meyers-Martin, D-Matteson) requires the Illinois State Police to furnish information pursuant to a fingerprint criminal background check within 30 days of the receipt of the request.
HB 217 (Niemerg, R-Teutopolis) allows a school board to allow “In God We Trust” to be displayed inside or outside school buildings
House Immigration & Human Rights Committee
Wednesday, March 3, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 3
HB 103 (Carroll) provides that a school district commits a civil rights violation if it fails to treat anti-Semitism in an identical manner to discrimination motivated by race.
HB 120 (Guzzardi) requires school districts to allow student athletes to modify a team uniform in accordance with his or her religion.
House Higher Education Committee
Thursday, March 4, Noon, Virtual Room 1
HB 226 (Greenwood, D-E. St. Louis) disallows institutions of higher learning from requiring Illinois resident applicants to submit standardized admissions test scores to be admitted.
House Personnel & Pensions Committee
Friday, March 5, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 3
HB 21 (Scherer) allows a Teacher Retirement System (TRS) annuitant to substitute teach without restriction in school districts that have been granted a waiver of the days and hours restrictions.
HB 126 (Scherer) repeals the defined contribution benefit option for active members of Teachers Retirement System (TRS).
House Mental Health & Addiction Committee
Friday, March 5, 10 a.m., Virtual Room 2
HB 205 (Flowers, D-Chicago) creates local children’s mental health collaborative to provide many services including educational. In order to receive funding the collaboration must include a local school district with other local community groups and families.
HB 212 (Conroy, D-Villa Park) creates a Mental Health Task Force for Communication, Intelligence, Empathy, Emotion and Empowerment to explore and determine a method for all school students to receive mandated health care.
House Child Care Accessibility & Early Childhood Education Committee
Friday March 5, 10 a.m., Virtual Room 3
HB 13 (Tarver) requires a school board to prohibit any school in the district to use a standardized test for pre-kindergarten admission.
HB 177 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires the creation of a five-year statewide Universal Child Care Demonstration Program to provide grants to eligible entities to provide affordable child care services for children age 0-6 years regardless of family income.