IASB Legislative Report 102-17

Delivered via email : May 21, 2021

Final Action Awaits Important Bills

Many important issues that will impact school districts across the state were amended this week to provide greater flexibility and additional local control. While those bills will require future negotiations and input, progress is being made on major issues. As the General Assembly nears the end of the scheduled legislative session, the number of bills passing both chambers are slowly but steadily climbing. As always, the end of May is an exciting and challenging time at the Illinois State Capitol.
Over the course of the spring legislative session, several bills have been introduced on sex education curricula. The majority of these bills called for statewide mandated sex education in Kindergarten through 12th grade. IASB opposed all sex ed bills that mandated a new required course in sex ed. Due in part to those discussions, Senate Bill 818 (Villivalam, D-Chicago) was amended this week to remove the language requiring sex education. Under SB 818, school districts that choose to teach sex ed would be required to follow national guidelines on sex ed and all instruction would have to meet a variety of new standards. The removal of the mandate is a win for districts that do not currently offer sex ed, but the additional prescriptive curricula requirements may cause issues for districts that currently offer sex education to their students. SB 818 passed the Senate along partisan lines and now heads to the House for further discussion.
As we discussed last week, House Bill 3223 (Moeller, D-Elgin) would mandate additional services for students who are expectant parents, or parents or students who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse. The bill was further amended in the Senate this week to address school leader concerns regarding school district liability and potential lawsuits. The conversations around HB 3223 are ongoing and may very well continue past the May 31 scheduled adjournment.  The sponsors of the measure have committed to work on a trailer bill in the future.

Bills Sent to the Governor - Passed Both Houses

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 813 (Johnson, D-Waukegan), with respect to the Evidence-Based Funding formula, provides that, in recognition of the impact of COVID-19, the definition of “Average Student Enrollment” or “ASE” shall be adjusted for calculations for fiscal years 2022 through 2024.
SB 820 (Lightford, D-Hillside) provides clean-up provisions from the passage of PA 101-654. For Freedom Schools, it expands the definition for those eligible to include African American students and other students of color; and adds members to the Inclusive American History Commission; expands the definitions regarding advanced placement and dual-credit coursework; changes the membership of the Whole Child Task Force; and extends early intervention services for Pre-K children with an individualized education program (IEP) up to the beginning of the school year of their third birthday.
SB 1830  (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 ninth grade must successfully complete to receive a high school diploma.
Bills Passed Out of the House
HB 26 (Mah, D-Chicago) requires third-party online curriculum to be accessible to disabled students.
HB 156 (Hernandez, B, D-Aurora) requires school districts to make menstrual hygiene products available in every 4th-grade through 6th-grade bathroom in school buildings.
SB 808 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) In order to obtain a license under the Article, a student teacher candidate may not be required to videotape himself or herself or his or her students in a classroom setting.
Bills Passed Out of the Senate
SB 633 (Murphy, L., Des Plaines) requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) report card, beginning 2022-2023 school year, include data on the number of incidents of violence on school grounds that resulted in out-of-school disciplinary action.
SB 818 (Villivalam, D-Chicago) requires school districts that deliver comprehensive sexual health education to utilize a standards-based sex education course for 6th through 12th grade and they may provide age and developmentally appropriate consent education for kindergarten through 5th-grade students. It also includes 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.
Bills Scheduled for House Committees Week of May 24
SB 814 (Lightford, D-Hillside) creates a new teacher induction and mentoring program that aligns with the Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards and requires school districts with their bargaining representative to make a choice between their current mentoring program and the one set forth in this bill. It also establishes a competitive grant program for principal mentoring programs and ties professional growth to the areas addressed in the Illinois Performance Standards for School Leaders.
SB 817 (Simmons, D-Chicago) provides that a school uniform or dress code policy adopted by a school board or local school council shall not include or apply to hairstyles, including hairstyles historically associated with race, ethnicity, or hair texture.
SB 2088 (Belt, D-Cahokia) adds, as a goal of the Whole Child Task Force, recommending legislation, policies, and practices to prevent learning loss in students during periods of suspension and expulsion, including, but not limited to, remote instruction.
Bills Scheduled for Senate Committees Week of May 24
HB 2789 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) 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.
HB 3310 (Welter, R-Morris) extends the timeline from six months to one year for a school district petition to change district boundaries to remain valid for filing.
HB 3573 (Bennett, R-Pontiac) allows school districts to use remote e-learning days for emergency days.