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Alliance Legislative Report 99-04

Distributed via Email: February 13, 2015


There was no legislative session this week but the General Assembly will return to Springfield next week and begin considering bills in committees. The Senate will convene next Tuesday through Thursday; the House of Representatives will meet Wednesday through Friday. The deadline to introduce a bill in the Senate is next Friday, Feb. 20 (the House deadline is the following Friday).

On Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his first state Budget Address. The much anticipated speech will lay out the governor’s fiscal plans and reveal how his “turnaround plan” can be accomplished in tight budgetary times. He will have to address a possible multi-billion dollar gap between revenues and expenses for Fiscal Year 2016 with the rollback of the individual and corporate income tax rates. The budget message is set to begin at noon on Wednesday.


Governor Rauner recently announced his choices for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in accord with the state law that allows a new governor to replace the majority of the board upon his inauguration. Last month the governor named James Meeks as chairman of the State Board of Education. Now, joining Chairman Meeks are: Lula Ford (former teacher/principal from Chicago); Craig Lindvahl (former teacher and current executive director of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship from Teutopolis); Roberta Parks (vice-president of Unity Point Health Methodist/Proctor Foundation from Peoria); and Eligio Cerda Pimentel (attorney with McAndrews, Held, &Malloy from Oak Park).

The current board members who will continue to serve on the board are: Steven Gilford (Evanston); James Baumann (Lake Bluff); Curt Bradshaw (Naperville); and Melinda LaBarre (Springfield).

With a new majority of the State Board in place, the fate of State Superintendent Chris Koch and his top staff is unclear. It would be the board’s prerogative to seek a new state superintendent and education administration that shares commonality with the board and the office of the governor.


Next Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 17-18) the Alliance is holding a leadership summit in Springfield. School superintendents, principals, board members, and business officials are encouraged to attend as a team, become updated on the latest legislative issues and Vision 20/20 initiatives, and meet with their legislators in the Capitol. More information on the summit can be found here.


Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capito l

SB 52 ( Clayborne, D-E. St. Louis) allows school districts to transport children to school who live within 1 ½ miles of school if there is a significant risk of violent crime.

SB 672 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) a dds the subjects of consumer debt, higher education student loans, and identity-theft security to the list of subjects that are required to be included in the financial literacy component of consumer education.

SB 706 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) requires non-public schools to perform criminal background checks on student teachers.

SB 736 ( McConnaughay, R-St. Charles), an Alliance initiative regarding the School Construction Grant Program, provides that school districts shall receive a priority ranking from ISBE within 90 days of the end of the current year's application cycle and requires ISBE to priority rank, by grant year, all school districts that have been waiting for longer than 90 days for school construction project grant funds.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 9:00 a.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 26 (Morrison, D-Deerfield), w hen required to publish in a newspaper, requires all units of local government and school boards that maintain a website to additionally publish notices, agendas, records, or other information or material that is required to be published in a newspaper by law or court order to their website.

SB 663 (Koehler, D-Peoria), an Alliance initiative, p rovides that public bodies may hold closed meetings to consider building safety and security.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 3:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 69 ( Cullerton, J., D-Chicago), for retirees from the Chicago Teachers’ Pension System, provides that the 100-day employment limit shall not include days that a teacher teaches only driver education courses after regular school hours and does not teach any other subject area and that the $30,000 limit shall not include compensation earned for teaching driver education courses after regular school hours.

SB 82 (Sullivan, D-Rushville), an Alliance initiative regarding school board elections, p ermits a congressional township comprising the territory of a school district to pass, by a 2/3 vote of all voters voting on the question, a proposition to elect board members at large and without restriction by area of residence within the district.

SB 669 ( Cullerton, T., D-Villa Park) changes the election for school board members from the consolidated election to the general election .

Thursday, Feb. 19, 10:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 115 (Flowers, D-Chicago), under a school board's policies and rules concerning infectious disease, urges school boards to allow students to wash their hands with a soap or detergent if they wish to do so.

HB 117 (Flowers) prohibits school boards from charging a fee to attend summer school.

HB 119 (Flowers) allows a school board to create a committee on the retention of students which would review the school’s decision to retain a student at a grade level and have the final decision on such retention.

HB 127 (Flowers) requires school districts to collect a signed form from the parent of any student who participates in an athletic activity of the acknowledgement of the symptoms and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest and requires all coaches to annually complete a sudden cardiac arrest training course.

HB 163 (Flowers), w ith regard to recognition standards for student performance and school improvement, prohibits ISBE from having separate performance standards for students based on race or ethnicity.

HB 165 (Flowers) a mends the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act to provide that the individually initiated, non-disruptive prayer may take place at any time during the school day.

HB 216 (Hoffman, D-Collinsville) allows a school board or authorized administrator to suspend a student for a period not to exceed 10 school days or to expel a student for a definite period of time not to exceed 2 calendar years, as determined on a case-by-case basis, if (i) the student has been convicted of a violent felony and (ii) the board or authorized administrator determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.

HB 223 (Pritchard, R-Hinckley) r equires a school board to publish a notice that the district's annual statement of affairs is available on ISBE's Internet website and in the district's main administrative office.

HB 226 ( Cavaletto, R-Salem) increases the debt limit for Sandoval Community Unit School District 501.

HB 255 ( Sosnowski, R-Rockford) changes the distance that a school board shall provide free transportation for pupils from 1 ½ miles to 2 miles.

This legislative report was 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.

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