November 14, 2016
The Illinois General Assembly will meet for the fall Veto Session Tuesday  Wednesday, and Thursday to take up those bills vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner . The Governor issued either a total veto or amendatory veto on 41 bills. The legislature is also scheduled for session November 29-December 1.
Other issues and bills are also expected to be addressed during the abbreviated session, not the least of which is a State budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Governor and the four legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the budget. House Speaker Michael Madigan initially declined to attend citing a scheduling conflict, but his spokesman today announced that the Speaker will be present.
The Alliance is mainly focusing on a few issues: sustaining the veto on HB 6299; passage of SB 2912; the Mandate Waiver Report; and the issue of lead concentrations in water in schools and day care centers. Alliance members are encouraged to contact their legislators and urge this action.
HB 6299
This legislation allows educational support personnel who were dismissed as a result of a Reduction in Force (RIF) to maintain any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district, if that employee returns to the job with that same district. The Association will be encouraging General Assembly members to sustain the governor's veto.
The bill takes away a local bargaining matter that is and should be negotiated at the local level, not decided by lawmakers in Springfield.  House Bill 6299 removes local control from a duly elected school board and grants benefits to district employees that will cost taxpayers more money and impact staffing decisions that should be the responsibility of the school board.
See the Alliance letter to the Governor asking for veto by clicking here
The Governor's Veto Message can be found by clicking here

SB 2912

SB 2912 is intended to help curb the current substitute teacher shortage and streamline license reciprocity for educators trained outside of Illinois. This aligns to the Vision 20/20 pillar of committing to Highly Effective Educators.

The bill was approved by the Illinois Senate in the spring, but stalled in the House of Representatives before adjournment. Currently reassigned to the House Rules Committee, the bill can be considered in this fall session if legislators are convinced of the urgency of the situation in local schools. SB 2912:
  • reduces substitute teaching license fees from $100 to $50
  • creates a one-year grace period for retired teachers with lapsed licenses to bring their license into good standing without fines or coursework, allowing them to substitute teach
  • prevents educators who retire mid-cycle from lapsing their licenses, allowing them to substitute teach
  • allows educators licensed in other states to obtain an Illinois license through a more streamlined process. ISBE will be able to grant licenses based on comparable out-of-state licenses, instead of comparing prep programs from other states
  • applies content area tests from other states for out-of-state licensees seeking an Illinois license
  • creates a provisional in-state endorsement on a provisional educator license with stipulations to allow candidates that have met all other requirements except passage of edTPA. This will allow candidates one additional year to pass the assessment while teaching
Both the House and Senate Education committees are scheduled to consider testimony regarding school district mandate waiver requests for School Code modifications. School districts seeking School Code waivers were required to submit those requests before October 1, 2016. The "Fall 2016 Waivers of School Code Mandates Summary Report" listing all the newly requested waivers can be obtained by clicking here.
Waivers requested will be approved unless the Illinois General Assembly acts to deny any of these submissions within 60 days after the legislature convenes after the waiver report is filed by ISBE. The clock begins Tuesday and there are currently only six days of veto session scheduled. Representatives from those districts that have submitted a waiver request are encouraged to testify before the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies and the Senate Education Committees.  Often a clarification through district staff testimony can result in a positive outcome to requests.
The largest number of applications received - 29 - seek waivers from the requirements for non-resident tuition. Seven requests are related to daily physical education and school improvement/in-service training. Six requests ask to raise the fee charged for driver's education. Three requests are  related to administrative cost cap limitations. Two requests are related to instructional time.
The House Elementary & Secondary Education - School Curriculum & Policies Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 15 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 114 of the State Capitol.
The Senate Education Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 15, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 400 of the State Capitol.
Since the spring legislative session, the Alliance has been engaged in discussions regarding the testing of lead in drinking water in schools and day care centers. The conversations around this important issue continue and will likely be addressed in some way during the fall Veto Session. Though several draft amendments have surfaced, a solution is not clear at this point. The Alliance is striving to make sure drinking water in schools is safe for students and the general public but is mindful of over-zealous solutions that would place burdensome or unnecessary requirements on school districts, as well as finding a compromise on cost and testing timeliness. More information will be provided as it develops.  
The IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference begins in Chicago on November 18 and legislative issues will be highlighted in a number of panel sessions.
Friday, November 18, 2016, 8:00 a.m.
School Safety and Security Seminar
Michigan 1, Concourse Level, Lakeshore Meeting Suites, Hyatt East Tower
Safety and security has become a top priority for school districts across the nation. In this seminar, school safety experts will provide current and vital information to school district personnel and community safety professionals.
Moderator : Ben Schwarm, IASB  
Friday, November 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Legislative Session Review
Regency A/B, Regency Level, Hyatt West Tower
Get an update on the latest education issues from the Capitol.
Presenters : Sen. Jason Barickman; Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant; Rep. Fred Crespo
Moderator: Susan Hilton, IASB
Let your voice be heard! Illinois Attendance Commission Public Hearing
Michigan A/B, Level II, Sheraton
Share your attendance-related experiences, challenges, and solutions with the Commission at this special legislative panel. Your success stories, barriers to student enrollment and retention, and approaches you've used with special student populations should be voiced.
Commissioners : Superintendent Jennifer Gill, Springfield CUSD186; Deanna Sullivan, IASB; Superintendent Scott Wakeley, Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD307
Facilitator : Chairwoman Antoinette Taylor, Illinois Attendance Commission
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
IASB Delegate Assembly
Regency A/B, Regency Level, Hyatt West Tower
The Delegate Assembly, composed of one voting delegate from each member board of education, is the policy-making body of the Association. Through its actions upon resolutions presented by member boards and other matters placed before it, it communicates Association direction to the officers and staff. It is the source from which all Association activity emanates.
Legislative Issues Impacting School Districts
Crystal B, Lobby Level, Hyatt West Tower
This panel of experienced legislators will discuss the hot topics of the 2016 legislative session (the budget, income tax, pensions, cost shift, mandates, etc.) and how these issues will impact Illinois school districts.
Presenters : Sen. Jason Barickman; Rep. Thomas Bennett; Rep. Elaine Nekritz; State Superintendent Tony Smith
Moderator: Calvin Jackson, IASBO
Evidence - Based Funding Model
Chicago 6, Ballroom Level IV, Sheraton
The Vision 20/20 policy brief calls for Illinois to implement an evidence-based school funding model. The model was presented to the legislature last spring. This presentation will explore what an evidence-based model is, and explain key implementation and legislative support.
Presenters: Brent Clark, Executive Director, IASA; Michael Jacoby, Executive Director, Illinois ASBO; Kevin O'Mara, Superintendent, Argo CHSD 217; Gary Tipsord, Superintendent, LeRoy CUSD 2
Moderator: Judith Hackett, Superintendent, NW Suburban Special Education Organization
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 1:30 p.m.
Understanding Changes to School Discipline Policy
Regency A/B, Regency Level, Hyatt West Tower
From policy conception to school implementation, discipline policy has been a major issue at the Statehouse and in the school house. Hear from a variety of professionals involved in this changing environment of discipline policy and better understand the issues.
Presenters : Rep. Chris Welch: Principal Patrick J. Leonard, Ottawa THSD 140; Associate Shawnte Raines, Sanches, Daniels & Hoffman; Brian Schwartz, General Counsel, IPA
Moderator : Zach Messersmith, IASB
Tax Caps and Freezes: Preparing for New Legislation
Chicago 9, Ballroom Level IV, Sheraton
Learn what legislation related to tax caps and the property tax freeze would mean and what you can do to prepare.
Presenters: Kyle Harding, Attorney, Chapman & Cutler LLP; Anne Noble, Managing Director, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company; Liz Hennessy, Managing Director, William Blair & Company
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 3:00 p.m.
Education Funding Reform
Grand A, Ballroom Level, Hyatt East Tower
Hear the latest on this key issue from education policy-makers.
Presenters : Sen. Jason Barickman; Rep. Will Davis; Sen. Andy Manar
Moderator : Susan Hilton
Pension Reform: Impact on School Districts Today
Regency D, Regency Level, Hyatt West Tower
Hear from experienced attorneys and lawmakers about the impact from current pension reform
legislation and litigation and implications for collective bargaining and administrator contracts. Get answers to questions commonly asked by administrators and employees.
Presenters : Sen. Daniel Biss; Attorney Donald Craven, Donald M. Craven, P.C.; Attorney Tom Gray, Whitt Law LLC; Deanna Sullivan, IASB
Moderator : Attorney Stuart Whitt, Whitt Law LLC
Sunday, November 20, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
Who's Fighting for Us in Illinois and Washington, D.C.?
Michigan 1, Concourse Level, Lakeshore Meeting Suites, Hyatt East Tower
Your Association carries an effective locally developed agenda to lawmakers on your behalf. Meet your advocacy team, and join them for a discussion of emerging legislative issues and the power of working hand in hand to effect change in education policy.
Presenters: Susan Hilton, IASB; Zach Messersmith, IASB; Deanna Sullivan, IASB; Cynthia Woods, IASB
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.