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Alliance Legislative Report 99-44

Distributed via Email: May 6, 2016


With the scheduled adjournment deadline getting closer and closer, the first week of May in the Illinois General Assembly might be more notable for what didn’t happen than what did. We previously previewed multiple Constitutional Amendments that were put forward that would have a serious impact on Illinois state government. However, none of them moved forward this week, passing a legislative deadline that effectively killed the amendments. For more on those amendments, see our last Alliance Legislative Report.

An expected vote on SB 231 was delayed as the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its projections for funding under the plan. The numbers showed the Chicago Public School system to be the main benefactor of the new funding system. However, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the bill’s sponsor quickly claimed that the numbers were inaccurate.  Regardless of whether or not ISBE’s numbers or the Senate Democrats yet to be released numbers are more accurate, the conversation on school funding reform is far from over.

Signs of bi-partisan cooperation were evident again as the Senate passed two bills to help further fund higher education. The first piece of legislation, HB 580, forgives a loan that is owed to special funds that were swept previously. Forgiving this loan allows the Illinois General Assembly to access about $450 million in General Revenue Funds. A subsequent bill, SB 2048, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), would send that “new” money to higher education institutions that have been operating this fiscal year without help from the state of Illinois. Both bills now head to the House of Representatives for approval. 


The following bills were approved by the Senate Education Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration:

HB 119 (Flowers, D-Chicago) allows CPS 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 3199 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) requires charter schools to comply with all absenteeism and truancy policies applicable to public schools.

HB 4330 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake) requires state colleges and universities to accept the “State Seal of Biliteracy” as equivalent to two years of foreign language coursework taken during high school and establishes a process for the creation of course content for students seeking the designation.

HB 4343 (Chapa LaVia) extends the deadline for the first report of the Illinois Attendance Commission to March 15, 2016.

HB 4352 (Bellock, R-Westmont) creates a definition of dyslexia in the School Code.

HB 4365 (Welch, D-Westchester) beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, requires IHSA to require all member schools that have certified athletic trainers to complete a monthly report on student-athletes who have sustained a concussion.

HB 4367 (Bellock) requires ISBE to reestablish the reading instruction advisory group and that they should complete their work by Dec. 31, 2016.

HB 4397 (Costello, D-Red Bud) , an Alliance initiative, extends the deadline for school energy efficiency grants awarded in 2014 to four years from the date the funds were distributed.

HB 5025 (Welch) changes how the Education Service Centers in Cook County are funded.

HB 5529 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) ,an Alliance initiative, extends the sunset for a school district to utilize interfund transfers to June 30, 2019.

HB 5556 (Soto, D-Chicago) requires CPS to submit an Educational Facility Master Plan every five years.

HB 5901 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago), an unfunded mandate opposed by the Alliance, requires school districts to provide certain student assessment information above what the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires to ISBE and public.

HB 6131 (Hurley, D-Chicago) requires driver education courses to include instruction concerning law enforcement procedures for traffic stops, including a demonstration of the proper actions to be taken during a traffic stop and appropriate interactions with law enforcement.


SB 2823 (Koehler, D-Peoria) allows a school board to engage the services of a licensed real estate broker to sell a residential property constructed or renovated by students as part of a curricular program, for a commission not to exceed 7 percent, contingent on the sale of the property within 120 days. The bill was approved by the House Judiciary-Civil Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2440 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) extends the allowance of a Principal Endorsement if a person has four total years of teaching or working as school support personnel to June 30, 2021. The bill was approved by the House Education Licensing and Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4462 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) extends the opportunity for the self-administration and self-carry of asthma medication and epinephrine auto-injectors to students while being transported to and from school and adds school bus drivers to the list of who can be "trained personnel." The bill was approved by the Senate Public Health Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 4630 (Ives, R-Wheaton) requires that all available minutes and verbatim recordings of meetings closed to the public prior to a newly elected official's term in a public body shall be available to that official for review, regardless of whether those minutes or verbatim recordings are confidential. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.


Wednesday, May 10, 1:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Building

SB 2975(Cunningham, D-Chicago) creates an agriculture education teacher grant program to fund personal service costs for agriculture education teachers, subject to appropriation. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 3304 (Rose, R-Mahomet) provides that the Educator Licensure Article does not apply to a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches teaching no more than one high school class per school year if the class has been approved by the State Board of Education.

HB 3239 (Andrade, D-Chicago) changes participation and voting provisions for Chicago school Local School Council student members and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 4362 (Unes, R-Pekin) removes a provision providing that of the three assessments ISBE shall administer in language arts and mathematics, one assessment shall include a college and career ready determination exam.

HB 4432 (Moffitt, R-Galesburg) allows a child in any of grades 6-12 to be absent from a public school on a particular day for the purpose of sounding "Taps" at a military honors.   

HB 4606 (Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest ) makes changes to the requirements and processes for establishing residency of pupils for access to school.

HB 4996 (Welch) allows schools to appoint a person to act as liaison with DCFS.  

HB 5710 (Sosnowski, R-Rockford) provides that, upon request of an alternative higher learning institution, the school board of Rockford School District 205 may award a diploma to any person who has not received a high school diploma but has received a high school equivalency certificate from the alternative higher learning institution, with conditions.

HB 5720 (Andrade) establishes a task force on Computer Science Education.

HB 5918 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years (instead of may be granted for a period not less than 5 and not more than 10 school years) and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten (instead of five) school years.

HB 6044 (Chapa LaVia) changes references relating to contractual continued service and the state aid formula in provisions concerning boundary changes, the deactivation of school facilities, cooperative high schools, a pilot cooperative elementary school and pilot cooperative high school, and school district conversions.

HB 6136 (Wallace, D-Rockford) creates the Advisory Council on At-Risk Students within the State Board of Education.

HB 6181 (Willis, D-Northlake) provides that ISBE shall allow educators to earn professional development hours during the final three months of the school year and enter those professional development hours into the Educator Licensure Information System.

HB 6252 (Willis) allows a certain school district to withdraw from a special education joint agreement.    

HB 6299 (Andrade) provides that if ESP is dismissed as a result of a RIF and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district.

HB 6333 (Gabel, D-Chicago) , as amended, requires ISBE to create a model asthma episode emergency response protocol to be adopted by school districts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 5729 (K. Burke, D-Oak Lawn) sets forth provisions concerning postsecondary career expectations; a competency-based, high school graduation requirements pilot program; transitional mathematics courses; reading and communication transitional competencies; College and Career Pathway Endorsements and State Distinction programs; and administrative rules.

Tuesday, May 10, 3:30 p.m., Room 400, State Capito l

HB 5902 (Guzzardi) provides that a student journalist has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school district or by use of school facilities or produced in conjunction with a class in which the student is enrolled.

Wednesday, May 11, 8:30 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

SB 2908 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) , with respect to an individual with a license in retired status returning to work in a position that requires a Professional Educator License, provides that a registration fee does not need to be paid if the licensee is returning to work as a substitute teacher for less than 50 percent of full-time equivalency for any particular school year.

SB 2912 (Luechtefeld, R-Okawville) makes changes to teacher licensure laws in line with those suggested by Vision 20/20. It addresses provisional in-state educator endorsements, provisional career and technical educator endorsements, substitute teacher licenses (by removing the provision that requires a test of basic skills for renewal), teacher leader endorsements, and minimum requirements for educators trained in other states.

Wednesday, May 11, 10:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

SB 2970 (Lightford) would create a program mandating universal screening for second and fifth graders to identify gifted and talented children, if certain conditions are met.

Wednesday, May 11, 2:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 4036 (Lilly, D-Chicago) extends the Family Medical Leave Act to all employers for employee leave related to domestic violence.

HB 4360 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) provides that no one may be licensed to teach or supervise in the public schools of this state who has been convicted of certain drug offenses until seven years following the end of the sentence for the offense.

HB 4999 (Guzzardi) prohibits an employer or prospective employer from requiring an employee to access a personal online account in an employer’s presence, invite the employer to join an online group affiliated with a personal online account,  join an online account established by an employer. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring username and passwords for personal online accounts.

Wednesday, May 11, 4:00 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

HB 2262 (Mitchell, R-Decatur) provides that the minimum amount of $2 million of liability insurance required for a vehicle with a school bus driver permit may be satisfied by either a $2 million combined single limit primary commercial automobile policy; or a $1 million primary commercial automobile policy and a minimum $5 million excess or umbrella liability policy.

Wednesday, May 11, 4:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

HB 3760 (Franks, D-Woodstock) provides that each unit of local government must report the annual value of any tax incentive granted by the local government. Requires DCEO to report the total value of all tax credits awarded by the department.

Thursday, May 12, 8:00 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

SB 2427 (Jones, E. D-Chicago) in Cook County, requires residential property owners who are no longer living in the residence to notify the assessment officer by April 1 so as not to be fined for the purposes of erroneous homestead exemptions applied.

SB 2517 (Manar) requires chief county assessment officers to return assessment books to the board of review before the third Monday in June of the assessment year or before the 90 th day following the certification of the final township assessment.

SB 2593 (McConnaughay, R-West Dundee)   in provisions that require the clerk of the Property Tax Appeal Board to send a copy of the appellant's petition to the board of review whose decision is being appealed, provides that the petition may be sent by mail or by electronic means (currently, by mail only).

SB 2612 (Koehler) extends the sunset date for the assessment of wind energy devices to 2021.

SB 2889 (McGuire, D-Crest Hill) in a Section requiring the board of review to serve a copy of the petition on all taxing districts when a change in assessed valuation of $100,000 or more is sought, provides that the service may be by electronic means if the taxing district consents to electronic service and provides the board of review with a valid e-mail address for the purpose of receiving service.

SB 2934 (Koehler) provides that, subject to certain conditions, the homestead exemption for persons with disabilities, the homestead exemption for veterans with disabilities, the senior citizens homestead exemption, and the senior citizens assessment freeze homestead exemption apply even if the person granted the exemption becomes a resident of a Supportive Living Program facility.

SB 3042(Link, D-Gurnee) implements and extends the veterans with disabilities homestead exemption to surviving spouse.

SB 3314(Bennett, R-Watseka) further defines eligible properties for a natural disaster homestead exemption.

SB 3367(Barickman, R-Bloomington) allows Paxton-Buckley-Loda Community Unit School District 10 to issue bonds with an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $28,500,000 if the voters of the district approve a proposition.

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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