IASB Legislative Report 103-35

Delivered via email: May 10, 2024

Bill Extensions

This week at the Capitol was relatively quiet with light committee and floor action. At this point of session, most bills have moved through their originating chamber and are currently on the floor in the opposing chamber. The next looming deadline is May 17, by which bills must move through third reading. Once bills are through third reading, if amended in the opposing chamber, they will need to go back to the originating chamber for concurrence. Otherwise, they will be sent to the Governor for signature.

However, several bills that IASB Governmental Relations staff are currently negotiating with member organizations and sponsors have received extensions. These bills are expected to move quickly in the next few weeks to get through their originating chamber and opposing chamber before session concludes. While this is only a handful of bills, the IASB Governmental Relations team remains focused on ensuring our members’ concerns are heard.

When the House returns on Monday, it is scheduled to meet for 12 consecutive days until scheduled adjournment on May 24. The Senate is scheduled to also meet both weeks Monday through Friday but taking the weekend off. Legislators have been told to hold May 25 through May 31 as contingent days.

Hot Bills/Topics Discussed in Committees this Week

1. HB4652 (B. Hernandez) Student Teacher Stipend
The bill is subject to appropriation and enables eligible student teachers to receive a stipend of up to $10,000 per semester of student teaching. In addition, each eligible cooperating teacher would receive a stipend of up to $2,000 per semester. The sponsor addressed questions the committee brought up during the subject matter hearing. Language was added regarding TRS penalties for salary above the 6% limit, stating the $2,000 would be exempt from the 6% maximum. In addition, the program will be evaluated after three years to determine if it should continue. Legislators stated that the sponsor has worked hard to ensure student teachers get paid, easing the burden of working without pay and decreasing the teacher shortage. The legislation allowed groups to work together toward an end goal of doing what is best for the public education students of Illinois. The bill passed committee with an 8-4 vote.

2. SB2908 (Rezin) Adult Changing Station and Table (Subject Matter Hearing)
During the subject matter hearing regarding SB2908, the need for public spaces to have adult changing stations for those in need was stressed. Several advocates testified to the difficulties of traveling through Illinois or visiting public spaces and not having access to the adult changing stations. The bill currently includes “a place of education” as a space that would be required to install an adult changing station to comply with the mandate. In the subject matter hearing, the cost of $6,000-$10,000 per table was quoted.

IASB Governmental Relations staff will gain clarification from the sponsor if the intent is for all public school buildings to comply with the unfunded mandate. While the bill is not expected to move during the remaining weeks of session, starting the conversation will structure future negotiations.

3. HB1375 SA1 (Tarver/Lightford) Financial Education
The original bill would have added a graduation requirement and required that financial literacy be required as a semester-long course for students in financial education, as well as requiring a student to test the course only in grades 11 and 12. It also would have required a school board to oversee the implementation of the curriculum, which is typically an administrative function. The amendment removes those mandates. Instead, it aligns financial literacy and consumer education with the Illinois Social Science Learning Standards for Economics and Financial Literacy and gives examples of basic concepts. Subject to appropriation, ISBE shall determine how to prepare and make available instructional resources and professional learning opportunities for educators that may be used for the purpose of meeting these requirements. The bill passed through committee unanimously on an agreed bill list and will need to go back to the House for concurrence after the Senate floor vote.

4. Pensions Subject Matter Hearing
The House Personnel and Pension Committee held another subject matter hearing which was supposed to focus on Chicago's Tier 3 pension proposal and the Tier 2 pension impact on staffing shortages.

Advocacy Opportunities

SB1400 Student Discipline *Support*
This week, SA3 to SB1400 was filed and is the result of many stakeholder meetings with unions, management groups, and student advocacy groups. The amendment is a step in the right direction to better balance student discipline and student/staff safety. The bill directs the State Board of Education to provide guidance in student discipline in several key areas.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, May 14 at 2:30 pm. We are supportive of this bill but it has not been posted yet. A fact sheet will be sent to legislators to show which organizations are supportive and the rationale for support. If you are interested in filing a witness slip in support, check the ILGA website early next week.

Public Act 99-456 was an important milestone in the state’s mission to address the racial disproportionality in schools’ use of exclusionary discipline.
Advocacy Ambassador Update
The Advocacy Ambassadors will be taking a break in May to focus on legislative action but will reconvene on June 7 at noon for our hour-long monthly meeting with a focus on the state budget. If you wish to attend this meeting, please sign up as an Advocacy Ambassador and register for the event through the IASB Events Calendar.

COSSBA Advocacy Conference
Mark your calendars for May 15 to register for the Consortium of State School Boards Association (COSSBA) Federal Advocacy Conference. The Conference is scheduled for September 8-10, 2024, in Washington, D.C., and the IASB team will be attending and helping facilitate the event. IASB will send a notification to all board members once more details about the conference become available.

Resolution that Passed out of Committee

HR707 (Swanson) Read with Your Child Week
This Resolution declares the week of May 5-11, 2024, as Read with Your Child Week. It was suggested in committee to make this permanent moving forward to stress the importance of reading to your children. The resolution passed committee with a unanimous vote.

House and Senate Bills that have passed out of Committee in the Opposite Chamber

Many of the bills heard in committee this week in both chambers have already passed through their originating chamber and were described in length in our previous legislative updates. Below is a list of those bills that have passed committee this week.

SB3348 HFA1 (Martwick/LaPointe) Debt Limit Exception
The underlying bill allowed Union Ridge School District to issue bonds for up to $35,000,000. HFA1 allows for Bethel School Distract to issue bonds up to $3,975,000. The bonds are subject to stipulations. The bill did not receive any discussion and passed out of committee unanimously.

SB3473 HFA2 (Sims/Smith) Diabetes Information
While the bill passed committee previously, it was brought back with HFA2 for the committee’s consideration. The amendment requires school districts to post Type 1 diabetes information on their website versus making the informational materials available to a parent or guardian when the student is first enrolled. The bill passed with a partisan vote of 8-4 with members noting concerns of adding mandates to school districts.

HB303 (Croke/Harmon) CPS Closing Moratorium
This bill would prohibit all public school closures in the Chicago Public Schools system until after a fully elected school board is seated in February of 2027. Currently, the moratorium expires in 2025 and because the CPS School Board will not be fully elected until 2027, the new amendment would extend the moratorium until that date. The bill passed committee unanimously on an agreed bill list.
HB340 (Mussman/Villivalam) Special Education Guardian Notification
The bill requires districts to provide notice to parents and guardians regarding the date that they will receive copies of all written materials for an IEP meeting. The bill passed committee unanimously on an agreed bill list.

HB3446 (Davis/Bennett) Evidence-Based Funding Reporting
This bill brings more transparency in spending of Evidence-Based Funding to the public. An amendment will be filed that will have the district Spending Plans posted on the ISBE website as a standalone report rather than being included on the Illinois Report Card. Access to the report should be available by 2025. The bill will be held on second reading and come back to committee with the amendment.

HB4219 SA1 (Yang Rohr/Ellman) Fentanyl Education
SA1 expands the bill to allow a school social worker or law enforcement officer to teach the instruction, study, and discussion on the dangers of fentanyl. The bill passed committee on the agreed bill list with a unanimous vote.

HB4895 (Yang Rohr/Johnson) Climate Change Education
This bill seeks to further knowledge of impacts of climate change. This does not create or require a standalone course. Beginning with the 2026-2027 school year, school districts have local control on how the information is disseminated. Subject to appropriation, ISBE may create resources to aid in implementing the material. The bill passed committee with a 9-4 vote.

HB4902 (Faver Dias/Lightford) School Improvement Literacy Plan Alignment
This bill ensures that vendors that provide services and resources to school districts receiving Intensive Comprehensive and Targeted support with the assistance of ISBE must align with the comprehensive Illinois Literacy Plan created by ISBE. The bill passed unanimously.

HB4903 (Faver Dias/Johnson) Air Quality Study
This bill directs the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health to compile resources relating to indoor air quality in schools, including best practices for assessing and maintaining ventilation systems and information on any potential state or federal funding sources that may assist a school in identifying ventilation needs. The bill passed unanimously through committee on an agreed bill list.

HB5250 (Ammons/Lightford) Accelerated Placement
The bill concerns accelerated placement and revises the recent legislation that required that, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, any student that meets or exceeds State Standards be auto-enrolled in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework. HB5250 provides:

  • Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, any student that exceeds (no longer “meets or exceeds”) State Standards be auto-enrolled in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework.
  • Beginning in the 2027-2028 school year, any student that “meets” State Standards shall be “automatically eligible to enroll” (not auto-enrolled) in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework.
    • The district will have to provide notification to the parents/guardians of the student’s “eligibility to enroll” in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework.
    • If the parent/guardian does not select a course, then the student must be automatically enrolled in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework.

The bill passed unanimously through committee on an agreed bill list.

HB5276 (Ness/Koehler) Special Education Transition
This bill requires the discussion of a student’s post high school assistive technology needs to be included in the transition planning meeting. These are devices that assist in functionality for students and would ensure there is a plan in place after graduation. The bill passed unanimously through committee on an agreed bill list.

HB5394 SA1 (Faver Dias) Cardiac Plans
The bill requires that beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, a school district shall develop a cardiac emergency response plan to accompany existing AED units in schools, including requiring a listing of every AED on school grounds. SA1 removes the requirement that a school board identify a cardiac emergency response team which was IASB’s outstanding concern with the bill. The bill passed unanimously through committee on an agreed bill list.

HB5418 (Hernandez/Halpin) School Construction Maintenance Grants
This bill adds Regional Offices of Education to list of entities that may apply for school construction maintenance grants. The grant is only eligible to publicly owned buildings and must have matching funds available. They would have to compete with other schools and there are no budgetary implications. The bill passed committee with a unanimous vote.