March 24, 2017

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One of the hang-ups with the Senate "grand bargain" was the fact that a school funding overhaul was discussed as part of the package, but no language was filed. Senate Bill 1, the  placeholder for funding reform, was given that specific language on Thursday, March 23. Even though the prospects of the "grand bargain" may be slim, recent actions of the legislature have shown that the concepts contained in the "grand bargain" are still viable. 

The language of SB 1, sponsored by  State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) , is similar to that of House Bill 2808 which is the Evidence Based-Funding Model, supported by the Alliance and a Vision 20/20 initiative. Although the two pieces of legislation are similar, there are some differences, including the amount of per pupil funding for technology and a class size adjustments for low-income students.  
The Alliance is still reviewing the details of SB 1 and we will keep you updated to any and all school funding reform bills as they move through the process.
The House of Representatives has set a deadline to move House Bills out of committee for March 31. The deadline, while not an absolute, usually means two things, a great deal of work needs to be done in committees in the days before that deadline and a clearer picture of where things stand after that deadline. Failure to meet the self-imposed deadline often times means that a bill will not be heard in the current legislative year. We have provided a list of some of those bills that will be heard in committees this week in this report. 

HB 261 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg)  allows a school district to provide housing assistance to a homeless student if it would be cheaper than paying for the transportation cost for the student to attend their district of origin.

HB 459 (Ives, R-Wheaton)  provides that a school district may not refinance debt past the repayment period of the debt when issued, may not issue debt to be serviced over a period of greater than 20 years, and may not issue capital appreciation bonds.

HB 494 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake)  was amended to allow individuals 18 years and older, but under 21, to possess and consume beer or wine at restaurants under the direct supervision and approval of their parent or parents, grandparent or grandparents, step-parent or step-parents, or legal guardian.

HB 2378 (Drury, D-Highwood)  removes language requiring a student's transcript to show the scores attained by the student on a state assessment that includes a college and career ready determination. Requires the transcript to represent that the student has taken the state assessment, provided that the scores attained by the student shall not be placed on the transcript.

HB 2527 (Sosnowski, R-Rockford)  amends the School Code. Authorizes eligible applicants (defined as a non-profit entity in partnership with a regional superintendent of schools, the chief administrator of an intermediate service center that has the authority to issue a high school diploma, or the Chicago school district) to design a high school diploma program for adult learners. Requires eligible applicants to apply for approval of a program to the State Superintendent of Education.

HB 2540 (Willis, D-Addison)  provides an appeals process through intermediate service centers for a school district that loses a petition to withdraw from its special education joint agreement program.

HB 2618 (Gabel, D-Evanston) , for parties who agree not to use mediation during a challenge in a special education hearing process, gives the parent 10 days after a party declines to use mediation to file a request for a due process hearing to allow the student to remain in their current placement.

HB 2950 (Conyears-Ervin, D-Chicago)  requires schools to designate personnel and quarterly provide students information about what to do and resources available if the student is being bullied.

HB 2958 (Fine, D-Glenview)  provides that on and after January 1, 2018, no person may knowingly cause or allow sale at wholesale or retail of a high polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) sealant product. Provides that on and after July 1, 2019, no person may knowingly cause or allow application of a high PAH sealant product on any surface, except for highway structures, in the State. Defines "high PAH sealant product".

HB 2993 (Slaughter, D-Chicago)  allows schools to serve produce grown by students in school or community gardens if the produce meets the Department of Public Health (DPH) requirements.

HB 3083 (Hernandez, D-Cicero)  removes the requirement that public schools are required to provide instruction in the English language.

HB 3215 (Wallace, D-Rockford)  requires schools to provide feminine hygiene products to students at no cost.

HB 3298 (Scherer, D-Decatur)  waives the Substitute Teaching License fee for those that can prove they were employed as a full time teacher in prior years.

HB 3394 (Walsh, D-Joliet)  amended to allow DCFS to recommend removal of a school employee that is subject of an investigation, pending the outcome, but allows all employment decisions to be the sole responsibility of the school district or employer. Prohibits DCFS from requiring a district to remove the employee or limit their duties pending the outcome of an investigation.

HB 3507 (Greenwood, D-E. St. Louis)  allows a student to accrue up to 10 days absence if his/her parent is active duty military and has been called to duty for, on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment.

HB 3784 (Sosnowski)  removes the ability of a school district to deny enrollment for 17 year old students for failure to meet minimum academic standards and provides that no child may be denied re-enrollment under sections referring to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
HB 3869 (Wallace)  requires in-service training for school personnel on civil rights and cultural diversity, including racial and ethnic sensitivity and implicit racial bias.
HB 3903 (Stratton, D-Chicago) , as amended, prohibits designating a space to be used exclusively as a place of operation for law enforcement to detain students.

HR 94 (Winger, R-Bloomingdale)  encourages the Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the State Board of Education, to make available to schools, guidance for developing and implementing comprehensive water quality management plans.

Tuesday, March 28, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol 
SB 446 (Lightford, D-Westchester)  creates a program for dropouts that would give double the Foundation level of support for each dropout that has been reenrolled.
SB 918 (Bush, D-Grayslake)  creates requirements that a reading specialist must comply with if a district chooses to hire a reading specialist.
SB 1223 (Lightford) provides that any student in a school district may be referred by a teacher, administrator, gifted education specialist, guidance counselor, school psychologist, or parent or legal guardian to the principal for evaluation for possible accelerated placement.
SB 1426 (McConchie, R-Lake Zurich)  for districts that choose to consolidate, the bill would allow two separate salary schedules until the next collective bargaining negotiation.
SB 1557 (Lightford) provides that early childhood programs receiving State Board of Education grants for preschool educational programs shall prohibit the expulsion of children.
Tuesday, March 28, 2:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 2426 (Currie, D-Chicago)  requires that 20% of the overall Early Childhood Education Block Grant be allocated to programs for children 0-3 years of age. Additionally, it requires ISBE to report allocations by December 1 annually.
HB 2484 (Hammond, R-Macomb)  requires the General Assembly to appropriate the full amount of payments required to be made for school district consolidations and conversions.
HB 2808 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) , a Vision 2020 Initiative, establishes the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act for funding Illinois public schools.
HB 2948 (Davis)  requires an annual State payment to the Chicago Public Schools Teacher's Pension and Retirement Fund of $456,000,000 and a Fund Board certified amount each year thereafter and the certified fund rate must be at least 10% of the contribution certified by Teacher Retirement System (TRS).
HB 3171 (Sauer, R-Libertyville) , for the Chicago Educational Services Block Grant, removes special education funding.
HB 3567 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago)  disallows the establishment of a charter school in any zip code where a public school was closed within the previous 10 years. Also, it provides that no charter school can be granted unless the General Assembly has appropriated transition impact aid for the school district where the charter school is to be located and requires CPS to establish attendance boundaries for newly established charter schools.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 4:30 p.m., Room 212 State Capitol
SB 1431 (Sandoval, D-Cicero)  requires all new buses used by school districts to have 3-point seat belts.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 8:00 a.m., Room 413 Stratton Office Building
HB 332 (Drury)  creates onerous mandates on districts and contains problematic language that conflicts with other statutes.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 8:00 a.m., Room115, State Capitol
HB 3094 (Stewart, R-Freeport)  repeals a provision prohibiting regional superintendents of schools from practicing any other profession.
HB 3437 (Harper, D-Chicago)  requires school boards to give at least 60 days' notice of the closure of a school, lasting at least one school year, to all affected students, parents, and legal guardians.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 10:00 a.m., Room 115 State Capitol
HB 243 (Flowers, D-Chicago)  as amended, allows school districts to establish a partnership with a local police department, county sheriff, or police training academy to establish a training program for high school students.
HB 266 (Flowers)  prohibits the ISBE from assessing any student whose parent or guardian has requested that their student not be assessed with a State assessment.
HB 440 (Ives)  makes physical education permissive.
HB 670 (Morrison, R-Palatine) , an alliance initiative, gives flexibility to school districts within the Drivers' Education mandate by allowing for contracting and proficiency examinations.
HB 696 (Martwick, D-Chicago)  provides for the election of the Chicago Board of Education beginning with the 2018 general primary election.
HB 726 (Jones, D-Chicago)  requires the completion of instruction in Black History in order to complete the 8th grade or graduate from high school. It requires each public university to offer a course studying the events of Black History and allows a public university to meet the requirement by offering an online course.
HB 2369 (Harper)  Requires a public school, including a charter school, to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breastfeed an infant child, or address other needs related to breastfeeding.
HB 2399 (Andrade, D-Chicago)  Provides for the election of members of the Chicago Board of Education.
HB 2403 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) , in provisions concerning the transfer of students, removes references to now-repealed federal laws.
HB 2545 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville)  requires all school personnel to undergo annual training on the warning signs of mental illness and the school district's policy on suicide awareness.
HB 2569 (Harris, D., R-Mt. Prospect)  extends to 9th & 10th grade students the exemptions for Physical Education (P.E.) currently allowed for 11th & 12th grade students.
HB 2949 (Conyears-Ervin)  requires school districts to provide at least 20 minutes of unstructured play during a recess for all students kindergarten-5th grade.
HB 3368 (Sims, D-Chicago)  requires ISBE to create a model curriculum for high schools for teaching entrepreneur skills.
HB 3369 (Sims)  requires ISBE to establish guidelines for the creation of a high-skilled manufacturing curriculum to be used in vocational education programs.
HB 3372 (Sims)  requires ISBE to establish or contract to establish a Safe2Tell program to allow anonymous reporting of information regarding threats to students.
HB 3708 (Reick, R-Woodstock)  moves the Reduction in Force (RIF) notice to 10 business days following the approval of the State budget and if no budget is approved by June 15 of the current fiscal year, the school board shall fulfill notification by June 30 of the current fiscal year.
HB 3776 (Harper)  requires schools to adopt a trauma response protocol that includes long-term responses to a traumatic incident, long-term care and counseling, and community engagement.
HB 3792 (Lilly, D-Chicago)  requires schools to provide 6th graders instruction regarding work ethics including reliability, professionalism and respect for authority.
HB 3810 (Wallace)  requires schools to develop a trauma response protocol that shall be implemented in response to a traumatic event at a school including a shooting.
HB 3811 (Manley, D-Joliet)  requires schools to report physician refusal to conduct a social-emotional developmental screening to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).
HB 3907 (Moylan, D-Des Plaines)  makes changes to the Law Enforcement safety drill requirement to make it more similar to fire drill requirements. 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:00 p.m., Room 122B State Capitol
HB 788 (Demmer, R-Rochelle)  provides that all units of local government, school districts, and public colleges and universities may, by a majority vote of the governing body, exempt themselves from specified mandates that are unfunded if it is determined that it is not economically feasible to comply with the unfunded mandate.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:00 p.m., Room 115 State Capitol
HB 3395 (Turner, D-Chicago)  changes current law to allow convicted drug felons to be hired in schools without a seven year waiting period.  Also, it prohibits the consideration of any conviction if the applicant has completed any sentence imposed for that conviction and any period of mandatory supervised release.

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.