The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate spent the majority of the week working through bills on their respective chamber floors while also amending bills in committees to posture them for passage before next week's deadline.
With no action this week on the teacher minimum salary bill, the Physical Education mandate bill, or comprehensive teacher shortage legislation, next week will likely determine the direction of the rest of session as the General Assembly moves towards the May 31st adjournment date. While many bills will have deadlines extended, every deadline passed on the calendar helps to further define what legislation is active and what is not likely to become law this session.
Although legislation on some of the major issues did not move this week, there was no shortage of bills impacting school districts that were considered. In this report you will find a list of bills that were approved by committees for floor action and that were approved on the floor and moved to the opposite legislative chamber.
BILL ACTION THIS WEEK
The following bills were approved by the House and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration:
HB 38 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan)
provides that a person commits unlawful use of weapons, a Class 2 felony, when a person knowingly carries or possesses with intent to use a firearm, knife or other dangerous weapon in any school.
HB 247 (Carroll, D-Northbrook)
requires school districts contracting with a third party for drivers education to ensure that the private instructor has a teaching license and that the district administrator evaluate and observe the instructor.
HB 817 (Welch, D-Westchester)
requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to establish an Office of Computer Science Education to ensure that every student K-12th grade is afforded computer science education and requires school districts to report on the school report card, computer science course data disaggregated by every student subgroup including race, gender and free-or reduced price lunch program eligibility.
HB 2084 (Welch)
changes the requirements for school discipline plan submissions. It establishes a Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments grant program and requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and participating schools to issue yearly reports on results of the program.
HB 2087 (Carroll)
creates a distance learning option for drivers' education, disallows a student from taking the entire driver education course through a distance learning program, and requires district administration approval of a program on a case-by-case basis including the student's driver education teacher and parent.
HB 2209 (Yingling, D-Round Lake Beach)
provides that each tax bill shall contain a list of each tax increment financing (TIF) district in which the property is located and the dollar amount of tax due that is allocable to the TIF district.
HB 2258 (Welter, R-Morris)
adds speech as an option under the graduation requirements section that includes one year of music, art, foreign language, sign language, or vocational education.
HB 2460 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest)
provides that any public agency or governmental unit shall develop, publish, and implement sustainable investment policies applicable to the management of all public funds under its control.
HB 2830 (Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove)
prohibits an employer from terminating an employee because of absence due to attendance at a school conference, behavioral meeting or academic meeting.
HB 2831 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg)
prohibits the use of latex gloves in food service establishments to the preparation and handling of food.
HB 3148 (Halbrook, R-Shelbyville)
allows the person or entity that appointed a member of a volunteer board or commission to remove that member for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office.
HB 3237 (Hernandez, B., D-Aurora)
establishes a qualification for eligibility to receive the State Seal of Biliteracy.
HB 3550 (Williams, D-Chicago)
requires a sex education course provided in grades 6-12 to include an age-appropriate discussion on the meaning of consent to sexual activity.
HB 3652 (Edly-Allen, D-Libertyville)
requires school counselors to discuss post-secondary education options, including 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges and vocational schools with students.
HB 3659 (Ortiz, D-Chicago)
provides that a charter school's governing body must include at least one parent or guardian of a pupil currently enrolled in the charter school and requires members of a Charter School governing board to complete the same training as elected school board members.
The following bills were approved by committees:
HB 190 (Ford, D-Chicago)
requires schools to share appropriate or available community-based or in-school support services for at-risk students in need of academic support. School districts are not responsible for any costs or transportation associated with a student's participation in a community-based service.
HB 423 (Scherer, D-Decatur)
epeals sections in the school code requiring a system of examinations for the issuance of educator licenses. It also provides that a candidate in a teacher preparation program must receive a letter grade of at least a "C", or its equivalent, in his or her student teaching program to obtain the license.
HB 1475 (Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon)
establishes school district protocols for caring for students that have epilepsy or seizure-related occurrences. The student's parent or guardian is responsible for creating a "seizure action plan" with the student's school.
HB 2056 (Parkhurst, R-Kankakee)
requires all applicants completing Illinois-approved teacher education programs to pass ISBE's recognized test of basic skills. If an applicant completing a teacher education program fails the test of basic skills the first time he or she takes the test, the applicant may complete a full school year of student teaching or of an internship or a residency program approved the ISBE instead of being required to pass the test.
HB 2100 (Welch)
abolishes the State Charter School Commission and ends the terms of all members and transfers duties and responsibilities to the ISBE. It also would make final decisions of a local school board subject to judicial review under Administrative Review Law and removes the appeal process for the charter applicant.
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 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.
SB 1970 (Sims, D-Chicago)
allows a student entitled to vote in a primary, general, or special election two hours to vote on Election Day. The school may specify the hours in which the student may be absent.