House Bill 7 Passes Out of CommitteeWith the promise to continue to work on the underlying issues, House Bill 7 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) passed out of the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter School committee on March 24. While we had hoped to stop the bill from moving forward, there is still much work to be done. To honor the agreement, amendments and changes will have to be brought back to committee for a vote. Updates on future developments will be provided in subsequent Legislative Reports. We need to continue to voice our opposition in order to ensure changes are made to the bill. Let your voice be heard!
House Deadline PassesThe House will meet its deadline to pass House bills out of House Committees by March 26. The Senate has extended its deadline to April 16. Unfortunately, deadlines provide little clarity to issues that will be moving forward this legislative session due to the volume of legislation approved by committees. Ideally, the committee process is the first step in explaining and making corrections to legislation before it moves forward. However, the current process where bills are called, acknowledged to be flawed, and then approved by the committee leaves a significant amount of work for advocates to attempt to modify and improve legislation before final votes are taken.
Illinois General Assembly Adjourns for Spring BreakThe Illinois General Assembly is not scheduled to be in session for two weeks. The annual legislative spring break is an opportunity to review and further engage in important pieces of legislation. After the House and Senate return the week of April 12, there will be a steady march towards eventual adjournment on May 31. If you have not already done so, during the legislative spring break is great time to reach out to members of the Illinois General Assembly. We have created an easy tool to help you connect with your legislators.
BILLS APPROVED BY COMMITTEES THIS WEEKHB 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, submit the proposal to the State Superintendent for review and approval before going before the voters.
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 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 after the implementation of the IEP and every year thereafter.
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. The bill also adds grooming and aggravated criminal sexual abuse to criminal sexual assault offenses in the Criminal Code.
HB 2400 (Hirschauer) sets forth several limitations, requirements, and notice requirements regarding school safety drills.
HB 2748 (Ness, D-Carpentersville) provides that if a special education student turned 22 during the COVID-19 pandemic the student is eligible for services through the end of the following school year.
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. It further requires IDPH to provide rapid COVID-19 testing in public schools and schools to grant paid sick leave to employees if they contract the illness identified in the declared public health emergency.
HB 3149 (Mason, D-Gurnee) limits the period of time that guaranteed energy savings contracts can be in place from 20 to 8 years. Requires that qualified architect, engineer, and structural engineer providers need to be licensed in accordance with their practice acts. Requires changes made under a contract to be subject to performance reviews. Establishes certain procedures for submission of proposals and changes references from “energy or operational costs” to “energy operating costs.”
HB 3173 (Mason) allows school districts to offer a course on gun safety.
HB 3202 (Mason) adds e-cigarettes and other vapor devices as an education area under Comprehensive Health Education Program.
HB 3223 (Moeller, D- Elgin) allows a student who is a victim of gender-based violence to transfer schools 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.
HB 3254 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires school districts to provide literature written by diverse authors including authors of diverse ethnic backgrounds that doesn’t perpetuate bias against persons based on specific categories. Also requires the school board to approve literature but prohibits items that are derogatory or racist or incites hate.
HB 3281 (Ortiz, D-Chicago) requires school districts to teach a unit of instruction on the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.
HB 3456 (Ford) requires the Illinois State Board of Education to implement an online curricula program allowing school districts to access. Also allows school boards to adopt policy for the use and implementation of the program.
SB 564 (Ellman, D-Naperville) 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.
SB1829 (Loughran-Cappel D-Shorewood)) 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.