IASB Legislative Report 102-12

Delivered via email: April 16, 2021

Bills Moving Under the Dome

The majority of the legislative action in the 102nd General Assembly has taken place virtually, but that changed this week as both the House and Senate met in the Illinois State Capitol for weekly, regular business for the first time in over a year. While the Senate was still working through bills in committee; the House passed several bills out of the chamber and over to the Senate. Both chambers will now focus on passing bills out of the original chamber and across the dome to continue the process. Now is a great time to reach out and start a conversation with your elected representatives in Springfield about the important issues facing school leaders and districts.

Amendments Filed to House Bill 7

Three separate amendments were filed to House Bill 7 this week, but they have yet to be adopted. While there are important changes in these amendments, the bottom line remains that IASB is opposed to HB 7 because it gives a statewide commission sole authority to determine whether district consolidation questions should be placed on the ballot, bypassing local input. The amendments to House Bill 7 still contain the goal of arbitrary reduction of 25% of school districts across the state. Please voice your opposition to House Bill 7

Bills Out of Committee

HB 1157 (Gonzalez, D-Summit) adds increased student accountability for school bullying prevention when the bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or other Human Rights Act category and directs restorative measures to be facilitated by a school counselor, psychologist, or therapist, if available.
HB 3071 (Lilly, D-Chicago) provides that school districts providing sex education are required to deliver a standards-based evidence-informed curriculum.
SB 508 (DeWitte, R-West Dundee) provides that a taxing district's aggregate extension base shall be adjusted whenever an assessment increase or decrease due to the issuance of a certificate of error, a decision of the board of review, or a decision of the Property Tax Appeal Board results in the overextension or underextension of taxes for the last preceding levy year.
SB 517 (Loughran Cappel, D-Plainfield), for special educational facilities and services, adds separate public special education day schools to the definition and adds that they are facilities that provide services comparable to a private special education school, making them eligible for state and federal funding.
SB 605 (Collins, D-Chicago) sets forth the elements to be included in school district policies on absenteeism and truancy and requires annual notification to students and parents.
SB 1572 (Martwick, D-Chicago) creates a homestead exemption of $5,000 of EAV for disabled police officers and firefighters.
SB1830  (Loughran Cappel, D-Plainfield) provides that a semester or part of semester of financial literacy may be a part of the fulfillment of the mathematics requirement that each pupil entering the 9th grade must successfully complete to receive a high school diploma.
SB 1989 (Joyce, D-Park Forest) extends the sunset date to 2023 allowing retired teachers to return to work up to 120 days or 600 hours per year without impairing retirement status.
SB2071 (Castro, D-Elgin), as amended, 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.
SB 2109 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school board members and administrators to annually complete a course of instruction on the adoption of a trauma-informed school standard.
SB 2244 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) increases the income limitation for eligibility to receive the senior citizens assessment freeze homestead exemption from $65,000 to $75,000.
SB 2296 (Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights) 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 to be used only under certain circumstances, provides for certain prohibitions and information provided to parents.
SB 2298 (Gillespie) provides for several Tax Increment Financing (TIF) redevelopment project beneficial changes, including disallowing approval of a new redevelopment project where an overlap exists with another redevelopment project; shortening the number of years for projects; modifies definitions of “blighted” and “conservation” areas; provides Joint Review Board and municipality approval for projects and surplus funds; and requires surplus funds distribution in 90 days instead of 180 days.
SB 2356 (Curran, R-Lemont) requires public bodies, including school districts, to meet at least semi-annually to review minutes of all closed meetings.
SB 2434 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) allows school districts to enter into an intergovernmental agreement between elementary and high school districts to share student records and information for students that are or will be students in both districts.
SB 2497 (Martwick, D-Chicago) provides for the election of the Chicago Board of Education at the next primary election in 2022 as a nonpartisan election and separate ballot.

Bills Passed out of the House

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 24 (West, D-Rockford) provides that sex education course material and instruction for 6-12th grade 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 students with disabilities.

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 160 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) requires schools to excuse students participating in religious fasting from physical education courses.
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 schoolwork missed.
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 576 (LaPointe, D-Chicago) allows student absences for mental or behavioral health to be excused absences with physicians note.
HB 577 (LaPointe, D-Chicago) establishes a list of factors deemed 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 816 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) provides that up to 30 days of paid sick leave days may be used by teachers for birth/adoption of a child, the days do not have to be taken consecutively and non-working days do not count.