IASB Legislative Report 102-43

Delivered via email: June 10, 2022

Governor Signs Bills Impacting School Districts 

Bill- signing season has come earlier than usual to Illinois as Governor JB Pritzker has worked through a variety of bills on his desk. While most education issues have been signed, there are still some important outstanding issues. If you would like to know more about the options the Governor has for signing bills and how you can advocate on behalf of your district, we would encourage you to watch an IASB webinar on that topic.  

Over 85% of all the bills impacting education that were sent to the Governor by the Illinois General Assembly are now signed into law. A listing of those bills by topic area can be found below as well as a highlighted selection of the bills the Governor still needs to act on. The Governor has not issued vetoes to any education-related- related bills as of June 9.

School Staff 

HB 4246 (Scherer, D-Decatur) provides for the reinstatement of a lapsed Professional Educator License upon the payment by the applicant of a $50 penalty (rather than a $500 penalty). Public Act 102-0710 

HB 4256 (McCombie, R-Sterling) allows a school district to waive, for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years only, the evaluation requirement of any teacher whose performance was rated as either "excellent" or “proficient." Public Act 102-0729 

HB 4257 (McCombie) for the 2021-2022 school year only, provides that a licensee with an administrative endorsement is not required to complete an Illinois Administrators' Academy course (rather than being required to complete one course). Public Act 102-0730 

HB 4798 (Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove) instead of requiring an applicant for a Substitute Teaching License to hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, allows an applicant to be enrolled in an approved educator preparation program in this state and have earned at least 90 credit hours. Public Act 102-0711 

SB 3663 (Rezin, R-Morris) provides that the number of professional development hours required is reduced by 20% for any renewal cycle that includes the 2021-2022 school year. Public Act 102-0852 

SB 3709 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that with respect to a special education cooperative reorganization, the contractual continued service status of a teacher transfers to the new or different board. Public Act 102-0854 

SB 3893 (Joyce, D-Park Forest) provides that a substitute teacher may teach up to 120 (instead of 90) school days for any one licensed teacher under contract in the same school year. Public Act 102-0717 

SB 3907 (Turner, D., D-Springfield) provides that an individual holding a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License may teach up to 15 (instead of five) consecutive days. Public Act  102-0712 

SB 3988 (Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago) allows a paraprofessional educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations to be issued to an applicant who is at least 18 years of age only until the individual reaches the age of 19 years and otherwise meets the criteria for a paraprofessional educator endorsement. Public Act 102-0713 

School Safety 

HB 4994 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) provides that each year prior to the start of the school year, a school board shall file its threat assessment procedure and a list identifying the members of the school district's threat assessment team or regional behavior threat assessment and intervention team with a local law enforcement agency and the regional office of education. Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Exempts from disclosure any threat assessment procedure under the School Safety Drill Act and any information contained in the procedure from inspection and copying. Public Act 102-0791 

SB 3936 (Sims, D-Chicago) establishes the Safe2HelpIL school safety tip line in Illinois law. Public Act 102-0752

School Operations  

HB 3296 (Ness, D-Carpentersville) requires a school district that enrolls students in grades 6-12 to adopt and implement a postsecondary and career expectations framework. Public Act 102-0917 

HB 4173 (Zalewski, D-Riverside) creates a process to appoint local school board members to serve on the Lyons Township Trustee of Schools board to provide more local input. Public Act 102-0924 

HB 4243 (Mason, D-Gurnee) prohibits a school district from withholding a student's grades, transcripts, or diploma because of an unpaid balance on the student's school account. Public Act 102-0727 

HB 4688 (Yednock, D-Ottawa) extends debt limit for certain school districts. Public Act  102-0949 

HB 4716 (Halpin, D-Rock Island) requires the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to adopt rigorous learning standards for the classroom and laboratory phases of driver education. Public Act 102-0951 

HB 5193 (Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) provides that the safety education that school boards may provide instruction on includes safe gun storage. Public Act 102-0971 

HB 5488 (Harper, D-Chicago) provides that a middle or high school student shall be permitted by a school board at least one school day-long excused absence per school year to engage in a civic event. Public Act 102-0981 

SB 3845 (Johnson, D-Waukegan) requires the Gender Equity Advisory Committee submit recommendations on how school districts can better support historically disadvantaged males, including African American students and other students of color, to ensure educational equity. Public Act 102-0863 

SB 3867 (Johnson) provides that all school boards shall waive fees assessed by the district for each student with a parent who is a veteran or active-duty military with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Public Act 102-1032 

SB 4028 (Simmons, D-Chicago) with respect to the Comprehensive Health Education Program, requires that the instruction on mental health and illness include how and where to find mental health resources in this state. Public Act 102-1034

Bills Not Yet Acted Upon by the Governor 

HB 4126 (Tarver, D-Chicago) for "Invest in Kids" schools, allows students of “Invest in Kids” schools who have been deemed eligible to attend a school to continue to attend that school if the student's eligibility status has not changed. It also allows schools to establish a maximum scholarship amount for admittance and requires any qualified school to report costs, fees, and maximum scholarships to the scholarship granting organization. 

HB 4326 (Stuart, D-Collinsville) as amended, will allow Regional Offices of Education (ROE), required to distribute funds from the County Sales Tax for School Facilities distribution, to receive 50% of the 2% administration fee the Department of Revenue receives to calculate and distribute the sales tax funds to school districts. 

HB 4813 (Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) exempts from contract bidding requirements contracts for goods, services, or management in the operation of a school's food service, including a school that participates in any of the United States Department of Agriculture's child nutrition programs.  

HB 5214 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school districts to provide interpreters for parents in IEP and 504 plan meetings.  

HB 5506 (Stuart) provides that a partnership agreement entered into between a community college district and a school district shall allow a high school student who does not otherwise meet the community college district's academic eligibility requirements to enroll in a dual credit course, but only for high school credit.  

Last Call for Resolutions 

One of the most essential functions of the Illinois Association of School Boards is the resolutions process that drives the Association’s advocacy and legislative initiatives and provides guidance for the IASB Governmental Relations team. The 2022 resolutions regular submission window is about to close and interested member districts are asked to submit a resolution before the June 22 deadline. The IASB Resolutions Process has undergone updates and revisions to make the process easier and more accessible. The IASB Resolutions form is available to make your district’s participation in the resolutions process as simple as possible. Please contact Mary Ellen Buch with questions at mbuch@iasb.com. 

Federal Update 

U.S. Senate Holds Committee Hearing on President’s FY2023 Education Budget 

Earlier this week a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations held a public hearing on President Joe Biden’s FY2023 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education. Members of the committee and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona spent a good portion of their opening remarks emphasizing a need to address school safety and gun reform considering the recent unfortunate mass shootings. Congress is widely expected to release a comprehensive package on school safety and gun reform in the coming days that may involve additional federal appropriations for local school districts to address these needs. 

On other items, senators on the committee were impressed with the President’s budget outline., Requests were made to increase efforts to reduce student homelessness, support additional legislation to modernize public school facilities, and provide permanent funding to increase the number of social workers in schools to address the mental health needs of students. 

As usual in the appropriations process, it is widely expected there will be congressional modifications to the president’s budget request, however, the highlights of the current request include: 

  • $1.5 billion in new spending to help address the physical and mental health needs of students, educators, and school staff caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 

  • $16.3 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act program, which is a $3.3 billion increase from previous spending levels, 

  • $36.5 billion for Title I funding to help students in low-income communities, 

  • $514 million for educator recruitment and retention, 

  • $200 million in new spending to create Career-Connected High Schools; competitive grants to support early enrollment in postsecondary and career-connected coursework in the last two years of high school, 

  • $1.1 billion for English Language Acquisition State Grants, increase of $278 million from previous spending levels to meet the needs of English Learners and their teachers, 

  • $132.1 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships to support comprehensive pathways into the profession, such as high-quality residencies and Grow Your Own programs, an $80 million increase over the previous year's spending levels, 

The entire U.S. Department of Education’s budget can be found here.