Delivered via email: May 7, 2021
Legislative and Executive Branch Signal Support of $350 Million Funding Increase
Earlier this year, Governor JB Pritzker (D-Chicago) had suggested that due to difficult budget scenarios that Illinois should not place an additional $350 million in the Evidence-Based Funding Model. However, with a better than projected revenue picture and a clear indication from the legislative branch that they would be sending a budget with the additional education funding to his desk, Governor Pritzker announced his support for the additional funding. Last year, in the early stages of the global pandemic, the Illinois General Assembly passed a budget that did not provide the annual increase for evidence-based funding putting Illinois further behind on the pursuit of equity and adequacy. IASB supports the continued commitment to the Evidence-Based Funding Model and will continue to advocate for the allocation of resources to address the educational needs of Illinois’ public schools.
Teacher Walk-Out Bill Passes Senate Committee
Senate Bill 1204 (Holmes, D-Aurora) would allow teachers to abandon their classrooms without recourse if the individual teacher deems the situation “abnormally dangerous.” According to the sponsor, SB 1204 is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bill would apply after the current global pandemic. Currently, under Illinois law, unions are allowed to bargain over workplace conditions. SB 1204 takes that collective bargaining right and makes it an individual decision that does not get negotiated with the school board and could cause school-wide disruption of in-person education.
Bills Passed Out of Senate
SB 517 (Loughran Cappel, D-Plainfield) adds public therapeutics programs to services that must be available to special education students.
SB 1747 (Bush, D-Grayslake) establishes Energy Transition Zones to encourage green energy enterprises with tax incentives effective January 1, 2022. Also provides for a de-certification of Enterprise Zones if 80% or more of the businesses receiving tax incentives fail to submit required information to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Bills Passed Out of Senate Committees
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 grades must include sexting, the importance of internet safety, and identification of support personnel in the school district/community who can provide assistance and development of strategies for resisting peer pressure.
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.
SB 633 (Murphy, L., D-Des Plaines) provides that, upon knowledge of an incident of sexual assault by a student against another student, a school district shall report the incident to the State Board of Education.
SB 818 (Villivalam, D-Chicago) mandates that a comprehensive, standards-based sex education course be taught Kindergarten through 12th grade including 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 Passed Out of House Committees
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 1646 (McClure, R-Jacksonville), under Teacher Retirement System (TRS), allows a member to establish optional credit for up to two years of services as a private school teacher or administrator.
SB 1786 (Murphy, L.) requires Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to develop an online database that contains mental health resources for access by school administrators.
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 ninth grade must successfully complete to receive a high school diploma.
Bills in Senate Committees Week of May 10
SB 817 (Simmons, D-Chicago) disallows school districts to adopt policies regulating hairstyles in the school setting and directs the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to withhold state funding to school districts that violate this provision.
HB 4 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan), an IASB Initiative, allows student instruction to be delivered electronically as an e-learning day when a school is required to be used as a polling place.
HB 219 (Carroll, D-Northbrook) requires 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 timeout and physical restraint used only under certain circumstances, provides for certain prohibitions and information provided to parents.
HB 816 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) rewrites parental leave of absence for birth or adoption of a child and allows paid sick leave to be used for up to 30 days of leave also providing days do not have to be taken consecutively, immediately after birth or adoption, and disallows the district from counting any day in which school is not in session.
HB 1975 (Mussman) provides several resources and training for parents, students, and teachers regarding sexual misconduct in schools including developing a code of conduct, employment history review, and sex education class curriculum. The bill also adds grooming and aggravated criminal sexual abuse to criminal sexual assault offenses in the Criminal Code.
Bills in House Committees Week of May 10
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 654 (Peters, D-Chicago) requires school districts to provide at least 60 minutes of daily unstructured play for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.
SB 808 (Murphy, L.) 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.
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 2109 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school board members and administrators to annually complete a course of instruction on the adoption of trauma-informed school standard.