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Alliance Legislative Report 99-54

Distributed via Email: October 21, 2016


Both Governor Bruce Rauner’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission and Senator Kimberly Lightford’s (D-Maywood) group of education stakeholders and legislators continue to meet to discuss school funding reform. The Commission, comprised mostly of legislators, has been meeting every two weeks for the past couple of months. Lightford’s group has been meeting regularly as well.

Much of what has been done to this point is background information and research, but there has been discussion of potential alternative funding distribution plans like the Evidence-Based Funding Model highlighted in the Vision 20/20 platform. The Alliance organizations have been actively involved in the meetings and discussions and have made presentations regarding the evidence-based plan.

Now that all four legislative caucuses and the governor’s office are fully engaged in the process, expectations have risen to the point where some type of new school funding formula is anticipated in the spring.

Additional information on the school funding reform meetings can be found on the IASB News Blog.


The proliferation of mandates on local school districts from the state legislature, both funded and unfunded, has been a burden for well over the past two decades. This year remains no different. Though the Alliance was successful in quashing dozens of bills this spring that would have added to the already cumbersome workload of school districts, teachers, and administrators, several bills have been signed into law that will add even more responsibilities.

The following new Public Acts have been enacted:

PA 99-0590
(HB 5901)


Requires school districts to annually report to ISBE every assessment measure used in the district, broken down by school, grade levels, and sub-set of students tested.


PA 99-0604
(HB 4379)

Requires school boards to adopt guidelines on school board member spending and approve all such spending on a roll call vote in an open meeting.


PA 99-0616
(SB 2137)

Requires teacher institute days to provide training every two years on the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the school environment.


PA 99-0670
(HB 4606)

Requires school districts to provide multiple new disclosure reports, notifications, and specific details regarding student residency disputes and hearings.


PA 99-0706
(SB 2970)

Requires school districts to comply with new provisions regarding assessments and score ranges for gifted students to be eligible to apply for Gifted Education funding.


PA 99-0720
(HB 6131)

Requires all drivers’ education courses in high schools to add instruction on how students should respond if stopped by the police.


PA 99-0765
(HB 4036)

Requires all school districts to allow employees (even part-time) to take unpaid leave if the employee or his/her family members have suffered an instance of sexual or domestic abuse.


PA 99-0831
(HB 4365)

Requires all schools that have a certified athletic trainer to report monthly to the IHSA with information about student/athlete concussions.


PA 99-0843
(HB 6333)

Requires school districts to request an asthma action plan from parents and requires certain personnel to receive training every two years regarding asthma.


PA 99-0850
(SB 2393)

Requires school districts, if certain conditions are met, to implement a “breakfast after the bell” program to provide breakfast to students.

Bills that were unsuccessful:

Here is a list of some of the bills containing mandates that were stopped in the spring session:

HB 0822: would have created new requirements for school districts to post DCFS information

HB 4227: would have increased the number of school days in the year without guarantee of payment

HB 4234: would have required new notification requirements on school districts regarding suspensions

HB 4272: would have shifted the normal pension costs for TRS from the state to local school districts

HB 4275: would have required a school board to meet with every student subject to suspension

HB 4322: would have added requirements before school districts could close a school

HB 4424: would have mandated the creation of a reading initiative in all schools

HB 4978: would have mandated a Civics course for 7 th and 8 th grade

HB 4996: would have required school districts to appoint someone as the DCFS liaison

HB 5759: would have created additional reporting for prevailing wage work

HB 5822: would have required posting of nutrition information on all food sold on school property

HB 5911: would have added new reporting requirements regarding student dental exams

SB 2147: would have added new paid sick leave requirements for all employees (even part-time)

SB 2183: would have created new requirements regarding school closings

School board members and administrators are encouraged to talk about the mandate issue when talking with their legislators. A historical list of legislation containing mandates can be found on the IASB website.

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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Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly

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