Last week, we reported on (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) that would require consolidation of 25% of school districts throughout the state. The bill was posted for a committee vote this week, but was not called for a vote. One of the main factors in HB7 not being called for a vote was the advocacy of school leaders. We sent over 1,400 emails to the members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing and Charter School committee. But, the issue is far from over. Please continue to make your voice heard!
School Consolidation Bill Not Called In Committee
School Consolidation Bill Surfaces in the SenateWhile similar language to House Bill 7 has been filed in the Senate, there is another bill filed with a different, but equally problematic approach to school consolidation. (Murphy, L., D-Des Plaines) would give the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) the authority to consolidated elementary districts with other elementary districts and high school districts with other high school districts. ISBE would be able to make these decisions without voter approval. SB 635 has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee, but has not yet been scheduled.
BILLS APPROVED BY COMMITTEES THIS WEEKThe following bills were approved by a committee and moved to the chamber floor.
HB 12 (Costa-Howard, D-Lombard) requires school districts and other educational institutions to grant Family Medical Leave to employees who have been employed for 12 months and worked at least 1,000 hours in the previous 12 months.
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 21 (Scherer) allows a school district to apply for a waiver to remove the cap on the number of days a retired teacher can substitute teach in the district that applies for the waiver without impacting the retirement status of the retired teacher.
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 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 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 156 (Hernandez, B., D-Aurora) requires school districts to provide menstrual hygiene products in every bathroom of every school building.
HB 160 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) requires schools to excuse students participating in religious fasting from physical education courses.
HB 169 (Didech) 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.
Bills Scheduled for Committee Next WeekWatch or listen to Virtual Committee Hearings on the Illinois General Assembly website.
APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
Monday, March 8, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 1
SUBJECT MATTER: Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
Tuesday, March 9, 1 p.m., Virtual Room 1
SB 496 (Barickman, R-Bloomington) requires the State Board of Education to establish grade-level endorsements to be added to the Professional Educator License in the categories of Elementary and Secondary.
SB 497 (Barickman) a career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License may be issued to an applicant who has a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework.
SB 498 (Barickman) removes requirement of a second year of residency for alternative educator licensure.
SB 559 (Ellman, D-Naperville) allows a private special education facility to require tuition payments from a school district a month prior to providing students services.
SB 564 (Ellman) adds January 17, the birthday of Muhammad Ali, to the list of commemorative holidays and requires the teaching of the contributions made by Muslims and Muslim Americans to society as part of U.S. History.
SB 569 (Villivalam, D-Chicago) beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, requires a school district to provide to students enrolled in grades 10 through 12 the opportunity to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and consult with a military recruiter during regular school hours and in a location situated on school grounds.
SB 633 (Murphy, L.) provides that, upon knowledge of an incident of sexual assault by a student against another student, a school district shall report the incident to the State Board of Education.
SB 634 (Murphy, L.) requires the Illinois High School Association to allow a special education student to participate in interscholastic athletics through the day before the student's 22nd birthday.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES
Wednesday, March 10, 8:30 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 356 (Williams, D-Chicago) beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, requires a school district to include in its curriculum an annual unit of instruction on the Spanish language.
HB 376 (Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview) requires every public elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian American history.
HB 857 (Miller, R-Robinson) Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, requires each school board to post on its district website all curricula to be taught in each school.
HOUSE EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING, & CHARTER SCHOOLS
Wednesday, March 10, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 553 (Evans, D-Chicago) a school district shall employ a ratio of no less than one counselor to 150 students.
HB 557 (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 563 (Ford, D-Chicago) beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, each school district must provide a parent or guardian of an at-risk student information about appropriate and available community-based or in-school academic support services.
HB 576 (LaPointe, D-Chicago) provides that absence for cause by illness shall include the mental or behavioral health of a student.
HB 597 (Marron, R-Danville) requires school districts to provide contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and for the Crisis Text Line on the back of each student identification card issued by the school district.
HB 599 (Mason, D-Gurnee) provides that within seven days after receiving information that a public school employee is charged with a sex offense, the school board shall notify, in writing, the parents or guardians of the school's students.
HB 655 (Bennett, T., R-Pontiac) Removes the requirement that educator licensure candidates pass a teacher performance assessment.