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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-50

Distributed via Email: May 11, 2012

The Illinois General Assembly continues to work through a relatively quiet week in the Capitol. The Senate cancelled Friday’s session but the House of Representatives is still scheduled to work on Friday. Both chambers will return to work next Tuesday (May 15, 2012).

Though rumors continued to swirl around Fiscal Year 2013 state budget scenarios and possible pension reform provisions, there was no official movement on either of these issues this week. No amendments were filed containing comprehensive pension reform provisions and no appropriations bills were considered.

For public elementary and secondary education, however, legislators are considering significant budget cuts in FY 2013. The foundation level could see cuts between $300 and $500 per pupil. The transportation reimbursement budget line item could be on the chopping block. It is imperative that Alliance members contact their state representatives and senators and provide input on budget priorities.

As for pensions, the plan to shift part of the state’s pension liability onto the local school district is still a very viable option for legislators. This devastating proposal could drain upwards of $700 million from local school districts next year – in addition to any other cuts in appropriations. Alliance members need to contact their legislators and urge them to oppose shifting these new costs onto local school districts.

An overview of and talking points on the major pending issues can be found at: https://www.iasb.com/govrel/pli12.cfm

HOT BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 636 (Lightford, D-Maywood) requires all schools to provide daily recess, for at least 20 minutes, for all students in grades kindergarten through 5. “Recess shall include unstructured play” and “if the principal determines that the weather is inclement, then the principal shall direct that recess be held indoors”. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

SB 1313 (Schoenberg, D-Evanston) eliminates the state’s contribution that subsidizes the health insurance programs for state employees. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2706 (Haine, D-Alton) contains some of the recommendations of the Streamlining Illinois Regional Offices of Education Commission. Specifically, the bill requires that the population of each region be no more than 61,000 and there be no more than 35 regions by July 1, 2015. The bill was approved unanimously by Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives.

SB 3244 (Frerichs, D-Champaign) requires the ISBE to work with stakeholders to develop a model mathematics curriculum that must be available to school districts, though districts would not be required to implement the curriculum. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 3259 (Lightford) originally raised the compulsory attendance age to 18. Now, as amended, it creates a commission to study how to improve high school graduation rates. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

HB 3826 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) , regarding service animals that must be allowed in schools, provides that "service animal" means a dog or miniature horse trained or being trained as a hearing animal, a guide animal, an assistance animal, a seizure alert animal, a mobility animal, a psychiatric service animal, an autism service animal, or an animal trained for any other physical, mental, or intellectual disability. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 4277 (Madigan, D-Chicago) , as amended, provides that the funding provided by a school district for the creation of a charter school within the district shall be no less “than 95% or more than 100% of the school district’s per capita student tuition multiplied by the number of students residing in the district who are enrolled in the Charter School”. Current law sets the amount at no less than 75% or more than 125% of that amount. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Executive Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 638 (Steans, D-Chicago) makes changes to Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification procedures. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 639 (Delgado, D-Chicago) includes the rehabilitation of aging buildings to eligibility criteria for the School Construction Grant Program. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2896 (Frerichs) requires a school board to rely on the background check certificate issued by a regional superintendent to a substitute teacher, concurrent part-time teacher, or concurrent educational support personnel employee if he/she presents such certificate. The bill was defeated in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HB 5114 (Burke, D., D-Chicago) r equires all students enrolled in grades 6-8 in the public schools to watch a training video on CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes and was held in the Senate Education Committee.

HJR 79 (Dugan, D-Bradley) creates the Area Career and Technical Education and Vocational Centers Task Force. The resolution was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

This legislative report is written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


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