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Alliance Legislative Report 99-17

Distributed via Email: May 1, 2015

The Illinois House and Senate began committee work this week on legislation passed from the opposite chamber. With only three pieces of legislation having passed both chambers, there are still hundreds bills to consider before the end of May. In addition, the governor and legislative bodies continued work this week to develop a Fiscal Year 2016 state budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner has promised presentation of legislative language for his much anticipated “Turnaround Agenda” we reported on in the February 6 th Alliance Report. General information was provided for these initiatives in “The Illinois Turnaround Agenda Packet.” The “devil will be in the details” once actual legislation is filed. Everyone recognizes it is an ambitious endeavor to enact sweeping reforms in 32 days before the constitutional deadline for legislative adjournment. Stay tuned!


While substantive legislative measures were being heard in House and Senate committees, budget working groups were meeting behind closed doors to begin choosing appropriation lines for various state budgets, including education.

Good News: Alliance members were asked to participate in House discussions regarding the education budget so that the appropriations working group could better understand the impact of legislative decisions on different kinds of school districts. Special thanks to:

Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Sandoval CUSD #501 – Sandoval, IL

Dr. Prentiss Lea, Community HSD #128 – Vernon Hills, IL

Dr. Kimako Patterson & Dr. Alicia Evans, Chief School Business Official -- Prairie-Hills ESD #144 – Markham, IL

Dr. Karen Sullivan & Mr. Jay Strang, Chief School Business Official -- Indian Prairie CUSD #204 – Aurora, IL

Mr. Gary Tipsord, LeRoy CUSD #2 – LeRoy, IL

Additionally, the Senate Revenue Committee heard testimony from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) which reported anticipated gains in revenue to the tune of $300-$500 million over last year. You can take a look at their report here.

Bad News: Even with the anticipated growth in revenues going into FY 2016, lawmakers and the governor grapple with the daunting task of filling a $6 billion hole in the budget before May 31.


The House Education Funding Group has continued to meet each Wednesday to hear from various experts on education funding. This week’s presentation was provided by Mike Griffith from the Education Commission of the States. Several topics interested the panel, including how other states deal with the issues of equity and adequacy in funding; how to include property taxation revenue in the funding mix and reach equity; and how to demonstrate “return on investment” for taxpayers. You can check out his presentation by going to the IASB Government Relations page.


HB 163 (Flowers , D-Chicago), with regard to recognition standards for student performance and school improvement, prohibits ISBE from having separate performance standards for students based on race or ethnicity. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 226 ( Cavaletto, R-Salem) increases the debt limit for Sandoval Community Unit School District 501. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 7 ( Raoul, D-Chicago) as amended, adds new requirements regarding student athlete concussions, including establishment of a concussion oversight committee which must create a return-to-learn protocol, and school-specific emergency action plans. The bill was approved after being amended to address Alliance concerns by the Senate and was sent to the House for further consideration.

SB 277 ( Steans, D-Chicago) as amended, allows for the creation of an up to 50 year, Tax Increment Financing redevelopment project area in Chicago for mass transit, limited to: Chicago Union Station Master Plan, Chicago Transit Authority’s Red and Purple Line Modernization Program, Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line Modernization and Extension, and the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line Extension. Further provides that property taxes shall be paid to Chicago Public Schools in the same manner required by law prior to adoption of tax increment allocation financing. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 438 ( Cullerton, R-Chicago) as amended, provides that retired drivers education teachers can return to work without penalty if they work no more than 900 hours, receive no more than $30,000, and do not teach any other subject. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House for further consideration.

SB 665 ( Steans, D-Chicago) as amended, requires school districts to notify the bargaining representative with a five day notice when the district has been identified as a priority district. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

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.   The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 706 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) requires non-public schools to perform criminal background checks on student teachers. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 1319 (Martinez, D-Chicago) as amended,makes clarifications and deletes obsolete language in the School Code. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 1591 (Collins, D-Chicago) , as amended, requires a charter school proposal to include disclosure of any known active civil or criminal investigation into an organization submitting the charter school proposal or any member of the governing body of that organization. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: Charter School Policy Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 1679 ( Lightford, D-Westchester) as amended,creates the Course Access Act, providing that the State Course Access Catalog shall be developed for the State Board of Education and shall provide a listing of all courses authorized and available to students, detailed information about the courses, and the ability for students to submit their course enrollments. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House for further consideration.


Tuesday, May 5, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 806 ( Golar, D-Chicago) , as amended, allow s a student enrolled in grade 7 or 8 to enroll in a course offered by the high school but taken where the student attends school, provided that the teacher holds a professional educator license endorsed for the grade level and content area of the course.

HB 1360 (Gabel, D-Evanston) requires a charter school to comply with all (instead of all applicable) health and safety requirements applicable to public schools under the laws of this state.

HB 1790 ( Cavaletto, R-Salem) , as amended, amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code to provide that the career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations may be renewed and for individuals who were issued the endorsement on or after Jan.1, 2015, the license may be renewed if the individual passes a test of basic skills.

HB 2657 (Winger, R-Bloomingdale) a Vision 20/20 initiative, authorizes the state superintendent of education to use moneys in the institute fund and the State Board of Education to use funds available in the Teacher Certificate Fee Revolving Fund to support the recruitment and retention of educators. Also makes changes concerning a provisional educator endorsement and a chief school business official endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations, a Substitute Teaching License, a general administrative endorsement and a superintendent endorsement on a Professional Educator License, educator testing, and educators trained in other states or countries.

HB 2683 (Davis, W., D-E. Hazel Crest) contains the first component of the Differentiated Accountability Model proposed in the Vision 20/20 plan.

HB 2781 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) authorizes a school board, other than the Chicago Board of Education, to adopt a program for e-learning that shall permit students to receive instruction electronically, and not while physically present at school, for a limited number of days during a school year. It provides that a remote educational program does not include instruction delivered to students through an e-learning program.

HB 2807 (Mitchell, C.,D-Chicago) provides that any Illinois museum, providing state superintendent approval, shall be approved for professional development activities for teacher licensure renewal.

HB 3123 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) provides that school counseling services may include actively supporting students in need of special education services by implementing the academic, personal or social, and college or career development services or interventions as required by a school professional per a student's individualized educational program; participating in or contributing to a student's individualized educational program; or completing a social development history.

HB 3190 (Davis, W.) , as amended,   provides that if a person attempts to enroll a pupil in a school district and the school board finds that the pupil is a non-resident of that district, the board must provide certain information to the person attempting to enroll the pupil. Additionally, the bill allows the person attempting to enroll the pupil to appeal the decision of the board to the regional superintendent who may overturn the local board’s decision.

HB 3197 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) , as amended, creates the Attendance Commission within ISBE to study chronic absenteeism and make recommendations for strategies to prevent chronic absenteeism. IASB, IASA, and IPA will each have a representative on the Commission.

HB 3527 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) , as amended, provides that an elementary or secondary school must provide notification to the student and his or her parent or guardian that the school may not request or require a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student's account or profile on a social networking website, unless a victim or concerned party, such as a parent or guardian, reports to school officials or school personnel have observed cyber-bullying taking place.

HB 3823 ( Kifowit, D-Aurora) , as amended, provides that if a school district receives school construction project grant funds for a school construction project for which the district has a bond and interest levy and the district has any outstanding debt on that construction project, then the district shall use a minimum of 80% of the grant funds to first defease or redeem any outstanding debt and shall reduce the debt levy by an amount equal to or greater than the amount of the grant funds used to pay off outstanding debt within the first five levy years.

HB 4025 (Conroy, D-Downers Grove) adds to high school graduation requirements at least one semester of civics education which must be separate and apart from United States History and American Government courses. For more information about this bill, click here.

SB 1450 ( Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) requires an association or other entity that has as one of its purposes promoting, sponsoring, regulating, or in any manner providing for interscholastic athletics or any form of athletic competition among schools and students within this state to allow a student for whom it is determined that special education services are needed under the School Code to participate in interscholastic athletics and other forms of athletic competition for as long as the student is eligible for such special education services, which, for purposes of the School Code, means through the day before the student's 22nd birthday.

Tuesday, May 5, 1:00 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

HB 152 (Willis, D-Addison) requires school buildings to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors or alarms. The sponsor is working with the Alliance to address implementation concerns.  

HB 184 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) makes the following changes: requires the department to develop or approve and publish informational materials for women who may become pregnant, expectant parents, and parents of infants regarding cytomegalovirus (instead of establish and conduct a public education program about cytomegalovirus).

Wednesday, May 6, 8:00 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Building

SB 26 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) requires all public bodies that have a website to post anything they are required to publish in a newspaper on their website.

SB 73 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) allows a school district or nonpublic school to authorize a school nurse or trained personnel to administer an undesignated dose of an opioid antidote to any person that the school nurse or trained personnel in good faith believes is having an opioid overdose.

Wednesday, May 6, 3:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

SB 1340 (Anderson, R-Moline) requires the School Security and Standards Task Force to submit a report to the General Assembly and the governor on or before Jan.1, 2016 and the State Board of Education on or before July 1, 2016 (instead of on or before Jan. 1, 2015).

Thursday, May 7, 9:00 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

SB 780 (Jones, E., D-Chicago) in Cook County provides that when homestead property is sold or transferred the new owner shall notify the assessor and shall be required to reapply for the general homestead exemption and requires the assessor to cancel the exemption if the property owner no longer qualifies.

SB 792 (Bush, D-Grayslake) provides that if a taxing district maintains a website, the truth in taxation notice shall be published on the website in addition to a newspaper of general circulation.

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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