March 31, 2017

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Three important pieces of the Vision 20/20 legislative agenda moved one step closer to passage this week as they were approved by House committees. House Bill 734 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) would allow for three current educators to serve on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The bill was approved by the House Education: Licensing, Oversight, and Administration Committee on Wednesday.
Also moving out of that Committee was House Bill 3820 (Crespo) which would further overhaul teacher licensure in the State by deepening the pool of qualified teachers available for local school districts. HB 3820 is a follow up to Senate Bill 2912 from last year which also was signed into law.
Most significant, however, was the movement of House Bill 2808 (Davis, D-Hazel Crest), the evidence-based funding model. The bill was approved nearly unanimously by the House Appropriations: Elementary and Secondary Education committee on Thursday. HB 2808 has 27 different factors that establish a funding formula that is based on evidence, data, and best educational practices.
The evidence-based model was discussed prominently in the Governor's Illinois School Funding Reform Commission and provisions were included in the panel's final report as it embraced setting a unique funding adequacy target for each school district. Also, Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) included a modified evidence-based model in his amendment to SB 1 on school funding reform. The amendment was assigned to the Senate Education Committee but it was not considered this week.
Future discussions, and perhaps some scrutiny, is likely awaiting these funding bills. Last month, the House Democrat Caucus sent a letter to the Chairman of the Governor's funding commission, Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis, stating that "Commission members did not explicitly endorse the Evidence-Based Model or these 27 elements. At this time, there remains a lack of general understanding regarding the elements and how removing, adding, or changing elements would impact school districts". The letter was signed by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, and Representatives Will Davis, Rita Mayfield, and Emily McAsey.
The Alliance remains committed to working with the legislature on future discussions and negotiations regarding this important funding proposal and for the passage of an improved school funding formula for the State.
For more on these bills and all Vision 20/20 initiatives please visit:    
HB 332 (Drury, D-Highwood), opposed by the Alliance, makes changes regarding student data privacy laws. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes in the House Judiciary-Civil Committee and was held in the committee.
HB 443 (Ives, R-Wheaton), opposed by the Alliance, creates the Illinois School Choice Program allowing any state-recognized, non-public school to receive a voucher for students wishing to enroll. The bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes and was held in committee.
The following bills were approved by a committee and were sent to the chamber floor for further consideration:
HB 243 (Flowers, D-Chicago) was amended to require school districts with high schools to form a partnership with local police to offer a training academy for students. Opposed by the Alliance, the bill as amended was defeated. A subsequent amendment which removed the mandate and made the program permissive was added and the bill was approved by the committee with that amendment.
HB 244 (Flowers), opposed by the Alliance, provides that the increased penalties for possession of cannabis on school property do not apply to students.
HB 370 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan), opposed by the Alliance, requires schools to post the telephone number for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child abuse hotline.
HB 484 (Davis) makes various changes regarding facilities and funding for children requiring special education services.
HB 512 (Breen, R-Lombard) increases the number of days notices must be made regarding certain public referenda and public questions.
HB 760 (Lang, D-Chicago) allows the East Prairie School District 73 to exceed its debt limit with voter approval and requires any school district seeking legislative approval to exceed debt limit to hold a public hearing with proper notification, and hold a referendum for voter approval of the additional debt.
HB 768 (Welch, D-Westchester) removes provisions allowing the State Charter School Commission to reverse a school board's decision to deny, revoke, or not renew a charter.
HB 1252 (Lilly, D-Chicago) requires a unit of instruction on civics in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in all public schools.
HB 1254 (Costello, D-Red Bud), beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, expands the list for which partial days of attendance counts may be used to include the utilization of the school district's facilities by local or county authorities for the purpose of holding a memorial or funeral services in remembrance of a community member.
HB 2369 (Harper, D-Chicago), as amended, requires public schools to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil to express breast milk.
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.
HB 2545 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville), as amended, requires school personnel who work with students in grades 5-12 to be trained annually in an in-service training day to identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicide behavior.
HB 2703 (Hoffman, D-Belleville), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requires proprietary information and records related to an intergovernmental risk management association or self-insurance pool or jointly self-administered health and accident cooperative or pool; and insurance or self-insurance pools, claims loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communication be available for copying and inspection.
HB 2771 (Mitchell, D-Chicago), as amended to address Alliance concerns, removed school districts from the requirements in the bill for employers to provide specified paid sick leave to employees.

HB 2898 (Crespo), supported by the Alliance, r emoves the date (of June 30, 2021) until which a principal endorsement may be affixed to the Professional Educator License of a person who has, among other qualifications, at least four total years of experience working in the capacity of school support personnel.

HB 2912 (Bellock, R-Westmont), as amended, creates the School Bus On-The-Shoulder Pilot Program providing that the Department of Transportation will develop rules and file a report with the General Assembly with the program's findings.
HB 2949 (Conyears-Ervin, D-Chicago), as amended, requires school districts to provide recess in grades K-5. Specifically, it requires a 20 minute "active break" for these students. The Alliance opposed the bill.
HB 3021 (Martwick, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to implement a program to allow temporary staffing firms to contract with school districts to provide substitute teachers.
HB 3044 (Hoffman) requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to publish on their website the prevailing wage schedule for each county based upon the rate of wages in June, by July 15 of each year.
HB 3052 (Jones, T., D-S. Holland), opposed by the Alliance, forces Ford Heights School District 169 to dissolve and consolidate with Chicago Heights School District 170 into a new Heights School District 170.
HB 3257 (Wheeler, B., R-Crystal Lake) removes the 120 charter schools cap for the creation of charter schools, including the caps for areas of the state.
HB 3293 (Scherer, D-Decatur), opposed by the Alliance, requires school districts to remove insignia, stop arms, lighting, and paint on school buses no longer in service by the school being sold to the public.

HB 3368 (Sims, D-Chicago), as amended, requires the ISBE to post resources regarding the teaching of entrepreneurial skills for used by school districts with high schools.

HB 3369 (Sims), as amended, requires ISBE to post resources regarding the teaching of high-skilled manufacturing education programs.

HB 3395 (Turner, D-Chicago), regarding school district hiring, modifies language that instead of prohibiting the hiring of a teachers with any felony convictions, it prohibits those that have certain felony convictions. The Alliance opposed the bill.

HB 3407 (Sosnowski, R-Rockford) removes provisions allowing certain governmental units (including school districts) to enter into agreements to engage in "swap" agreements for bonding and removes provisions allowing variable interest rates and certain credit or liquidity enhancement arrangements.
HB 3437 (Harper), as amended to address Alliance concerns, requires Chicago charter schools 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.
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, the bill 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.
HB 3769 (Mayfield) allows colleges and universities with application to the ISBE, to authorize an "opportunity school" a school that prioritizes re-enrolled high school dropouts, opportunity students or students at risk of dropping out.
HB 3780 (Burke, D-Chicago), opposed by the Alliance, provides that local funding agreed to by a school district and charter school can be less than 97% or more than 103% of the school district's per capita student tuition multiplied by the number of students enrolled in the charter school. Currently school districts and charters can negotiate between 75% and 125%.
HB 3792 (Lilly), opposed by the Alliance, requires schools to provide 6th graders instruction regarding work ethics including reliability, professionalism and respect for authority.
HB 3820 (Crespo),as amended, allows individuals with a valid Career and Technical Education (CTE) endorsement, but that do not hold a bachelor's degree, to substitute teach in CTE classes.
HB 3907 (Moylan, D-Des Plaines), as amended to address Alliance concerns, makes changes to the Law Enforcement safety drill requirement to make it more similar to fire drill requirements. 
HJR 24 (Willis, D-Northlake) directs the P-20 Council and the Early Learning Council to establish an Advisory Committee to review kindergarten transitions.
SB 1296 (Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights) opposed by the Alliance, requires employers to provide specified paid sick days to employees.
The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration:
HB 106 (Batinick, R- Plainfield) provides that the holder of a master's degree in public administration who completes an additional six semester hours of internship in school business management from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and passes applicable state tests is eligible for a chief school business official endorsement.
HB 213 (Ford, D-Chicago), as amended, provides that any moneys transferred from the State Lottery fund to the Common School Fund shall be supplemental to any other money due to be transferred.
HB 425 (Welch) makes changes to the salary structure of Regional Superintendents of Schools and their assistants, especially in regard to the Educational Service Centers in Cook County.
HB 826 (Lilly) codifies in statute licensure requirements for school social workers and prohibits school social workers from providing services outside their employment to any student in the district. It makes a recommendation for a student to social worker ratio of 250 to 1.
HB 2378 (Drury) 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.
HB 2470 (Walsh, D-Elwood) allows applicants for a CTE endorsement to count coursework from a technical institution and allows a test of work proficiency to satisfy endorsement application.
HB 2540 (Willis) 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 2585 (DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights) provides that if there is no newspaper which is published in the unit of local government or school district, notice may also be published in newspaper published in an adjacent county to the unit or school district.
HB 2612 (Pritchard, R-Hinkley) provides greater flexibility and efficiency in the detachment and dissolution of school districts, including creation of a local hearing panel and a process for petitioning for boundary changes.
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 2663 (Stratton, D-Chicago) prohibits early childhood programs receiving ISBE grants to expel children.
HB 2950 (Conyears-Ervin) requires schools to designate personnel and quarterly provide students information about what to do and resources available if the student is being bullied.
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 3012 (Mayfield) allows Waukegan CUSD 60 to make a one-time transfer of funds from its bond fund to the Operations and Maintenance Fund with proper resolution following a public hearing.
HB 3059 (Pritchard) requires school district report cards to include average daily attendance by grade level.
HB 3139 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora), facilitating the work of the Balanced Accountability Model, establishes a definition of chronic absenteeism and requires school districts to collect and review the data and determine needed resources to engage chronically absent students and their families.
HB 3394 (Walsh), as amended, allows 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. It 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 3615 (Jesiel, R-Antioch) changes due process rights for any school employee accused of child abuse or neglect.
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 3914 (Wallace, D-Rockford) increases the fines for failing to stop for a school bus that is stopped on a roadway.
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.