Full Day Kindergarten Passes, TIF Hearing PlannedThe Illinois General Assembly has set a deadline of March 10 to move bills out of committees in their original chamber. While these deadlines are not fixed, they do offer a glimpse into what is likely to happen in the next two months. The Illinois Senate was not in session the week of February 27, but that did not mean there was a shortage of action. Several impactful bills passed House committees and even more will be moved in the coming week to meet the deadline.
While it is not a particularly new trend, there is certainly a growing list of bills that would cost school districts and taxpayers billions of dollars if they were to all be enacted. One effective way you can help push back against additional costs being passed to the district level is to keep an open line of communication with your State Senator and State Representative. IASB Governmental Relations will keep you apprised of action in the Capitol and call on you to make your voice heard to shape better policies for school districts.
One area of emphasis for Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly has been early childhood education. We covered the governor’s plans for early childhood education in an earlier IASB report. The House Child Care Accessibility & Early Childhood Education Committee met on March 2 and among the items on the docket was House Bill 2396 (Canty, D-Arlington Heights). As written, HB 2396 would require all school districts to offer full-day kindergarten starting next school year. However, much of the conversation around the bill has been about making the plan implementable for schools, including a longer timeline and discussions around capital needs for districts. The bill is expected to be amended and returned to the committee before it is considered for passage.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has been a topic of discussion around the Capitol for years and this year is no exception. For years, the Illinois Association of School Boards has had a position statement on making changes to the TIF law to make it more palatable to school districts. Senate Bill 1391 (Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights), which has been posted to the Senate Executive committee, would be a major overhaul of the TIF law. SB 1391 makes changes to the blighted definitions and gives school districts a greater say in TIF projects moving forward. We encourage you to contact your State Senator and fill out a witness slip supporting SB 1391. If you are not sure how to fill out a witness slip, we would encourage you to watch the tutorial.
Bills out of House Committees Week of February 27Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee
Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee