The Illinois Senate was in session this week and continued consideration of bills in both committees and on the Senate floor. The House of Representatives was off this week and both chambers will be out of session for the next three weeks for the General Primary election and Spring Break. The House returns to the Capitol on April 9, while the Senate reconvenes on April 10. Lawmakers are then scheduled to work steadily throughout April and May.
The legislative spring break is a great time for school board members and administrators to reach out to local legislators to advocate on behalf of local schools. During the next three weeks, legislators will be in district seeking input from constituents on a variety of issues. Now is the time for school management to be heard on the pressing issues facing school districts during this important advocacy time.
BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
The following bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration:
SB 2516 (Morrison, D-Deerfield)
requires an employer, or the employer's representative, to inform an employee of available mandated reporter training prior to the employee signing a statement that the employee has knowledge and understanding of certain reporting requirements under the Act.
The following bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.
HB 5812 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest)
contains the legislative fixes requested by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to properly calculate disbursements for the Evidence Based Funding Formula, including the following:
- For Property Tax Relief Pool Grants requires the ISBE to set a threshold for relief not greater than 1% of the EAV for a unit district, .69% for an elementary district, or .31% for a high school district, and relief will be calculated based upon the total amount of reduction in the school district's aggregate extension;
- For Special Education Cooperative Withdrawal, provides that under the Evidence-Based Funding Model (EBF), the portion of the base funding minimum be reapportioned to the school district and may be distributed under the conditions in the withdrawal agreement;
- Provides for funding for Pre-K English language learners;
- Changes the term "normal curve equivalent" to a "cumulative distribution" allowing ISBE to determine how much a school district is able to contribute locally as compared to all other districts;
- Designates alternative schools as Specially Funded Units;
- Removes Specially Funded Units from Tier 4;
- For FY18, provides a modified calculation for enrollment numbers that they be taken by October 1. For FY19 and subsequent years, enrollment numbers will be collected in October and March;
- Allows Special Ed Pre-K students to be counted in enrollment regardless of how many service hours are provided to them;
- Provides protections for school districts that receive a dramatic drop in their calculated EAV; and
- Removes the RFP requirement for additional technology grants and includes these grants in a district's BFM.
The following bills were approved by Senate committees and will be sent to Senate floor for further consideration:
SB 2648 (Bennett, D-Champaign)
provides that the Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force shall report its findings to the Governor and General Assembly on or before January 1, 2021.
SB 2654 (Hunter, D-Chicago)
requires school boards to include information about influenza and influenza vaccinations in accordance with the latest recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it provides information on school health issues to the parents or guardians.
SB 2838 (Link, D-Gurnee)
provides that, by January 1, 2019, the ISBE shall implement a program to allow school districts to supplement their substitute teacher recruitment for elementary and secondary schools with the use of recruiting firms.
SB 2889 (Rose, R-Champaign)
provides that epinephrine may also be administered with a pre-filled syringe.
SB 2939 (Holmes, D-Aurora)
provides that tuition, fees, and room and board costs shall be charged for students of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy who are not Illinois residents.
SB 3201(Hastings, D-Frankfort)
requires the school to notify the parent no later than 48 hours after discovery of a breach of security that results in the unauthorized release, disclosure, or acquisition of student information contained in a school student record.
SB 3226 (Weaver, R-Peoria)
ISBE to adopt rules as may be necessary to allow students of any high school in Illinois who are 16 years of age or older to participate in registered apprenticeship programs.
SB 3236 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill)
requires that a school report card include the most current data possessed by the State Board of Education relating to a school district's administrative costs.
SB 3249 (Steans, D-Chicago)
equires every elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in society.