House Bill 7 DebatedA measure that would push to consolidate a minimum of 25% of Illinois school districts was debated in the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter School Committee on March 17, but was not called for a vote. The bill was not called due to the outreach and advocacy of school leaders. The sponsor of HB 7 committed to calling the bill again next week, March 24, so we need to keep letting our opposition be known. Even if you have already emailed the members of the committee, you can do so again. You can fill out a witness slip for the committee. Make sure to mark the witness slip as “Opponent” and “Record of Appearance Only.” If you are having any difficulty filling out a witness slip, follow these instructions.
Senate Forced Consolidation Bill Assigned to CommitteeThe Illinois Senate Executive Committee has been assigned Senate Bill 2016, which is the identical language as House Bill 7. The substantially similar language being filled in both chambers demonstrates a coordinated effort to systematically close down over 200 school districts. Continue to keep an eye on your email for updates and new Call-to-Action messages on SB 2016 and other important bills throughout the legislative session.
BILLS APPROVED BY COMMITTEES THIS WEEK
HB 219 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) requires the 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 343 (Batinick, R-Plainfield) changes the school day beginning from 7 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. for the special speed limits while passing schools.
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 1736 (Willis, D-Northlake) mandates that a comprehensive, standards based sex education course be taught pre-K through 12th grade including school disclosure, parental requests, and notice of program. Allows school districts to collaborate with public health departments to identify a point of contact for inquiries and comments about course instruction and materials.
HB 1874 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) extends the usage of Short-Term Substitute Teaching Licenses to June 30, 2023 in teaching content-areas where teacher shortages exist.
HB 2778 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn) allows school districts to have whole-day school improvement days four times a year in lieu of improvement days with students in attendance.
HB 2828 (Caulkins, R-Decatur) lowers the lapsed teacher licensure fee from $500 to the lesser of $100 or $10 per year it's lapsed.
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, 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.
Bills Scheduled for Committee Next Week
Watch or listen to Virtual Committee Hearings on the Illinois General Assembly website.
Tuesday, March 23, 10 a.m., Virtual Room 2
HB1758 (Friess, R-Red Bud) allows teachers and school administrators to carry handguns on school property if they are licensed concealed carry holders and have been designated to carry a handgun by the school board.
Tuesday, March 23, 1 p.m., Virtual Room 1
SB1829 (Loughran-Cappel) states that teachers who participate in a new teacher induction and mentoring programs may have feedback from mentoring be a part of the evaluation plan.
SB2071 (Castro, D-Elgin) provides that an applicant who has earned a master's degree in social work and holds a valid license may obtain a social worker endorsement on an Educator License.
SB2088 (Belt, D-Cahokia) allows school districts to adopt a policy providing that if a student is suspended or expelled for any reason, the student must complete the entire term of the suspension or expulsion before being allowed to attend the school district in person.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES
Wednesday, March 24, 8:30 a.m., Virtual Room 1
HB3254 (Ford, D-Chicago) Provides that a school district shall require that books that are included as a part of any course, material, instruction, reading assignment, or other school curricula related to literature during the school year must include books that are written by diverse authors, including, but not limited to, authors who are African American, women, Native American, LatinX, and Asian.
HB3817 (Brady, R- Bloomington) Provides that the parent or guardian of a child with disabilities who resides in a school district shall have the option of enrolling the child in a school district in which the child was previously enrolled as long as that school district is, in whole or in part, within the county in which the child currently resides.
HB3875 (Ford) Establishes the Inclusive American History Commission to address the deficiencies and inadequacies in both perspective and content in traditional history course material and instruction and develop multi-perspective, inclusive, and comprehensive standards that a school may use as a guide in replacing or developing its curricula for history education.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING, & CHARTER SCHOOLS
Wednesday, March 24, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 1
HB3573 (Bennett, T., R-Gibson City) Allows a school district to utilize a remote learning day instead of an emergency day provided for in the school calendar.
HB3769 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) Provides that, beginning October 1, 2021, culturally responsive teaching standards shall apply to the issuance of all professional educator licenses endorsed in teaching, school support personnel, and administrative fields.
HB3884 (Mason, D-Gurnee) requires a school construction project commenced on or after January 1, 2022 to include the installation of a solar energy system or other renewable energy system.