The Alliance would like to thank all who attended the Alliance Leadership Summit this week in Springfield. Principals, Superintendents, School Business Officials and School Board Members from across the State were able to learn more about and advocate for the issues important to school management. The impact that school leader advocacy had on the Capitol was significant and it will continue to help shape the discussion on issues vital to schools going forward. Two major issues impacted by the advocacy efforts of school leadership were the minimum teacher salary bill (HB 2078, Stuart D-Collinsville) and a weekly minute requirement for Physical Education (HB 2234, Harper D-Chicago). Both of these bills were scheduled for a committee hearing Wednesday, but neither were called due in part to the strong resistance from local education leaders present in Springfield. It is important to keep this pressure on to defeat these two bills. A great way to do that is fill out a witness slip and register your opposition to these pieces of legislation. A witness slip lets your name be a part of the record whether or not you are at the Capitol. A tutorial on how to fill out a witness slip can be found here.
Alliance Legislative Report (101-07)
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ALLIANCE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
FULL STEAM AHEAD UNTIL SPRING BREAK
Only the House of Representatives was in Session this week, but starting next week, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly will be in session weekly until the legislative Spring Break in mid-April. For the majority of legislation still pending, the end of March will be the deadline to move bills out of committee and on to the floor. The scheduled deadline to pass bills out of the first chamber is April 12th. While these deadlines lead to a flurry of activity, they are deadlines by rule only which can be, and often are, extended.
BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
HB 190 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires schools to connect at-risk students in need of academic support to either community-based or in-school academic support. Each school shall also inform parents of an at-risk student about those community supports.
The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter School Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 1559 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) defines "media literacy" and provides that, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, every public high school may include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 2100 (Welch, D-Westchester) provides that on July 1, 2020, the State Charter School Commission is abolished and all of their responsibilities are transferred to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). It also provides for transfer of charter school authorization to local school boards. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 2177 (Unes, R-Pekin) provides that a school board may posthumously award a diploma to any service member who was killed in action while performing active military duty in the armed forces. The bill was approved by the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK
The following are new bills of interest posted for consideration this week.
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS II COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 5, 11:00 a.m., Room 212, State Capitol
Subject Matter Hearing regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 20 Budget Request for Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), SB 2210 (Cullerton, J., D-Chicago) ISBE appropriations and teacher retirement contributions for FY 20.
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 5, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SB 185 (Lightford, D-Maywood) authorizes and provides a calculation for appropriation to Regional Offices of Education (ROE) for grants to fund alternative schools, safe schools, and alternative learning programs for FY 2019.
SB 1212 (Lightford) requires ISBE to establish a Course Equity Program in which any public or nonpublic school student in this State may enroll in a course, provided that the student has completed all applicable prerequisite course requirements.
SB 1213 (Lightford) provides that all teacher evaluation ratings on record as "excellent", "proficient", or "needs improvement" are considered "effective" and all teacher evaluation ratings on record as "unsatisfactory" are considered "ineffective".
SB 1460 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) provides that in the distribution of funds appropriated for the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program, priority must be given to a qualified educator employed by an Organizational Unit assigned to Tier 1 under the evidence-based funding formula.
SB 1822 (Lightford) provides that no later than September 1, 2020, each school district must establish a teacher evaluation plan that ensures that each teacher in contractual continued service whose performance is rated as either "excellent" or "proficient" is evaluated at least once in the course of the four school years after receipt of the rating and informally evaluated at least once in the course of the two school years after receipt of the rating.
SB 1940 (Lightford) provides that the student discipline report must include data on the total number of school days missed by a student due to an out-of-school suspension or expulsion and data on the number of law enforcement officers assigned to schools within each school district.
SB 1941 (Lightford) changes the requirements for school discipline plan submissions. It establishes a Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments grant program and requires ISBE and participating schools to issue yearly reports on results of the program.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS-ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 5, 2:00 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Building
The committee will be holding subject matter hearings on various education related appropriations for the next few weeks. The March 5th Committee will be hearing testimony regarding funding for Early Childhood, Community and Residential Services Authority, District Intervention and Special Education. School district leaders should consider attending and presenting testimony before the committee if they have funding issues regarding the subject matter before the committee. Contact an Alliance lobbyist if there are questions about how to do that.
HOUSE JUDICIARY-CRIMINAL COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 5, 4:00 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 2627 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) disallows a student to be questioned or detained at a school site in connection with criminal charges or allegations, taken into custody, or engaged with law enforcement without a parent, school social worker or mental health professional.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 6, 9:30 a.m., Room 413, Stratton Building
HB 2549 (Lilly, D-Oak Park) creates the Roundtable on Educational Opportunity and Development to study ways to expand educational opportunities and funding for students to develop business ethics, funding the arts, establishing global travel programs and funding museum trips.
HB 2668 (Robinson, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to develop child opportunity zones to deliver social services at schools.
HB 2469 (Smith, D-Chicago) requires all ninth grade students to take a unit of instruction on home economics that includes, but is not limited to, instruction on family finance, wellness, personal hygiene, food preparation, and nutrition.
HB 2520 (Slaughter, D-Chicago) requires each school district maintaining any of grades 9 through 12 to post on the district's website information for its students on vocational schools, including how a student can access or apply to a vocational school.
HB 2530 (Keicher, R-Sycamore) provides that if a dependent of active United States military personnel is a nonresident of the school district and his or her parent or guardian is being transferred to a military installation located within the district, then the district must permit the dependent to enroll in school and must not charge the dependent nonresident tuition.
HB 2609 (Ford) creates the Office of School Safety within ISBE. The bill requires the Office to create a grant program for expenditures related to improving school safety. The grant funds must be used for school security improvements, including training and safety-related upgrades to school buildings, equipment (including metal detectors and x-ray machines), and facilities.
HB 2806 (Welch) provides that each school board shall (rather than may) appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison to facilitate the enrollment and transfer of records of students in the legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) when enrolling in or changing schools.
HB 2822 (West, D-Rockford) provides that the ISBE school report cards must include the most current data on the percentage of students who participated in job shadowing, the percentage of students who have completed an internship, and whether a school offered its students vocational training opportunities.
HB 2868 (Scherer, D-Decatur) requires ISBE to develop a work-based learning database to help facilitate relationships between school districts and businesses and expand work-based learning in this State.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING & CHARTER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 6, 2:30 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 2407 (Bourne, R-Litchfield) makes changes to the Alternative Educator Licensure Program for Teachers, including removing the second year of residency. The bill also provides that an alternative provisional educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations is valid for one year of teaching in the public schools, rather than two; but may be renewed for a second, rather than third, year if needed.
HB 2446 (Caulkins, R-Decatur) requires approval by referendum for any district that wants to enter into a joint agreement with another district to share the services of a superintendent or other administrator.
HB 2478 (Tarver, D-Chicago) sets a minimum salary of $35,000 for pre-kindergarten teachers.
HB 2485 (Severin, R-Marion) allows a school board to publish a notice that the district's annual statement of affairs is available on the ISBE website and in the district's main administrative office, instead of requiring a summary of the statement of affairs to be published in a newspaper.
HB 2529 (Keicher) provides that school districts need not comply with any mandate in the School Code or administrative rules adopted by ISBE that is unfunded under certain circumstances.
HB 2738 (Morrison, R-Palatine) requires referendum approval for all future school construction projects.
HB 2739 (Morrison) 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 2741 (Morrison) provides that starting the 2020-2021 school year each school district shall undertake budgetary and expenditure control actions so that the increase in each of the budgeted administrative expenditures per pupil, budgeted general administration expenditures per pupil, and budgeted school administration expenditures per pupil for that school year over the expenditures per pupil for the prior school year does not exceed the Consumer Price Index percentage increase or 5%, whichever is less.
HB 2755 (Morrison) creates the Illinois District Consolidation Commission for the purpose of recommending consolidation for specific school districts, with a goal of reducing the total number of school districts by 60%.
HB 2802 (Welch) extends the time for the regional superintendent to fill school board member vacancies from 45 to 60 days.
HB 2840 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) requires each school board to appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison to facilitate enrollment and transfer of records of students in the legal custody of DCFS.
HB 2913 (Jones, D-South Holland) provides that for an elementary school district that is designated by ISBE as having a teacher shortage, each district superintendent shall receive an annual salary of $175,000.
HB 2932 (Smith) provides that an applicant seeking a Professional Educator License or an Educator License with Stipulations who holds a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is not required to pass a test of basic skills.
HB 2982 (Swanson, R-Woodhull) provides that if a criminal history records check or check of the Statewide Sex Offender Database or Statewide Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database is performed by a regional superintendent for an applicant seeking employment as a substitute teacher with a school district, the regional superintendent may disclose to ISBE whether the applicant has been issued a certificate based on those checks.
HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 6, 2:30 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 2622 (Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake) & HB 2754 (Morrison) requires school districts to reduce to writing, publish and hold a hearing on the ratification of a Collective Bargaining Agreement or administrator contract of over $150,000.
SENATE REVENUE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 6, 4:00 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol
SB 1553 (McConchie, R-Lake Zurich), under Property Tax Extension Limitation Act (PTELL), requires taxing districts to reduce aggregate extension base to lower the limiting rate upon voter initiated petition and subsequent referendum approval.
SB 1755 (McConchie) provides that sales tax does not include the selling of food at retail to students or school staff during a school district designated breakfast or lunch.