Education Pillar of Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Agenda Signed into LawAt a signing ceremony March 8, Governor JB Pritzker (D-Chicago) signed House Bill 2170 into law. For more background on HB 2170, previous legislative reports cover it in detail. The new law contains many provisions that school districts will have to comply with over time, including new graduation requirements. HB 2170 is an important piece in a legislative package, passed through the 101st General Assembly, which seeks to address disparities and inequities in the State of Illinois.
New Guidance for In-Person SchoolOn March 9, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released guidelines detailing new in-person school procedures. The new guidelines no longer suggest symptom screenings on school grounds, but encourage students and staff to self-verify that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. If a school district would rather screen students on school grounds, it can do so. The most impactful change is updated guidance on social distancing. IDPH says that social distancing for students and fully vaccinated staff can be three to six feet. While six feet remains the optimal distance, the reduction to three feet can provide more opportunities for in-person learning. ISBE and IDPH released a document to inform schools of the new guidance.
BILLS APPROVED BY COMMITTEES THIS WEEK
HB 75 (Flowers, D-Chicago) 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 343 (Batinick, R-Plainfield) for special speed limits while passing schools, the bill changes the definition of when a school day begins to 6:30 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.
HB 576 (LaPointe, D-Chicago) allows student absences for mental or behavioral health to be excused absences with physicians’ note.
HB 577 (LaPointe) establishes a list of factors deemed to put students at risk of suicide in the section requiring school districts to have a policy on youth suicide awareness and prevention.
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 680 (McLaughlin, R-Lake Barrington) for hiring professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors, the bill; by eliminating the prohibition for the local government to seek cost estimates in terms of dollars, hours, construction cost, or any other measure of compensation, allows local governments to consider this information in their selection.
Bills Scheduled for Committee Next Week
Watch or listen to Virtual Committee Hearings on the Illinois General Assembly website.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
Monday, March 15, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 1722 (Miller, R-Robinson) voucher program requiring transfer of state funding to a private school for any student having enrolled in a public school who transfers to a private school beginning 2021-2022 school year.
HOUSE ETHICS & ELECTIONS
Monday, March 15, 2 p.m. Virtual Room 2
HB 100 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) requires all school districts to be closed on election day regardless of whether or not they are being used a polling place.
HB 340 (Batinick) provides that any local officeholder elected at the consolidated election may be subject to recall through a public petition process garnering 25% of votes cast in the area in the previous gubernatorial election or 10,000 signatures from the local government jurisdiction.
HB 433 (Carroll) creates a citizen petition and referendum initiative to dissolve any unit of local government including school districts.
HB 2496 (Lewis, R-Bartlett) requires school district boards of education to, every two years, entertain a resolution establishing term limits for chairpersons, presidents of the board.
Tuesday, March 16, 1 p.m., Virtual Room 1
SB654 (Peters, D-Chicago) provides that all public schools shall provide daily time for supervised, unstructured, child-directed play for all students in kindergarten through grade 8.
SB1637 (Rezin, R-Morris) Provides that a school board shall, upon passage of a referendum after submission of a petition signed by no less than 8% of the school district's voters in the last consolidated election, or may, by resolution, enter into a joint agreement with other school boards to share the services of a superintendent or other administrator.
SB1784 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) provides that each school district must allow a student athlete to modify his or her athletic uniform for the purpose of modesty in clothing or attire that is in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion.
SB1830 (Loughran Cappel, D-Plainfield) provides that a course in financial literacy may be taken towards the fulfillment of the mathematics requirement that each pupil entering the 9th grade must successfully complete to receive a high school diploma.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES
Wednesday, March 17, 8:30 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 1884 (Elik, R-Alton) removes the requirement that high school instructors are required to have master's degrees in rural district and community college agreements for dual credit programs.
HB 1906 (Mazzochi, R-Westmont) allows school districts to discontinue certain unfunded mandates for up to 5 years after a public hearing.
HB 1975 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) provides several resources and training for parents, students and teachers regarding sexual misconduct in schools including developing a code of conduct, employment history review and sex education class curriculum.
HB 2400 (Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) sets forth several limitations, requirements and notice requirements regarding school safety drills.
HB 2759 (Vella, D-Loves Park) requires school districts to include at least one vocational course in the list of electives for students from 6th-12th grade.
HB 2789 (Mussman) requires the Department of Public Health (IDPH) to establish metrics for school districts to determine if the district may safely conduct in-person or remote instruction.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING, & CHARTER SCHOOLS
Wednesday, March 17, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 1
HB 1782 (Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria), an initiative of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, that exempts contracts for goods, services or management in the operation of a school’s food service from the $25,000 contract bidding requirement.
HB 1874 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) extends the usage of Short-Term Substitute Teaching Licenses to June 30, 2023 and teaching content-areas where teacher shortages exist.
HB 2421 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) increases the trigger for contract bidding requirement from $25,000 to $50,000 and adds responsive or bidder determined to best meet the needs of the board as a standards.
HB 2859 (Swanson, R-Woodhull) provides that a school district seeking to employ a substitute teacher may use criminal history background information in the Educator Licensure Information System rather than initiating its own background check.
HB 2984 (Morrison, R-Palatine) provides that if any payments from the State are delayed for at least one payment cycle, the school board may discontinue any instructional mandate, except P.E., high school graduation requirements and drivers education.