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NEWS

Legislative Highlights for Week Ending 5/17/24

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn this Friday, May 24. While the House cancelled the session scheduled for this past weekend, it is anticipated that work on the budget will continue. Several committees are scheduled to advance cross chamber bills through the final legislative steps next week. And it is expected for budget drafts to surface at the middle to end of next week.


 

Bill action this week includes:


CTE Teachers Tenure

SB 463 (Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) is an IFT initiative that clarifies that educators holding career and technical educator endorsements and provisional career and technical educator endorsements are eligible to receive tenure under a bill passed last spring, PA 103-500. The bill also includes language to extend the work of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee (PEAC) until December 31, 2024, and continues the work of the PEAC training committee going forward. SB 463 is pending on 2nd reading in the House; the bill will need to be returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote before moving on to the Governor.


Continuity of Care for Special Education Students Beyond Age 18

HB 4581 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg/Ventura, D-Joliet) passed the unanimously. This bill, an initiative of the Illinois Assistive Technology Project, provides that if a student who is 18 years of age or older with no legal guardian is placed residentially outside of the school district in which the student's parent lives and the placement is funded by a state agency or through private insurance, then the resident district is the school district in which the parent lives.


Financial Literacy Expansion

HB 1375 (Tarver, D-Chicago/Lightford, D-Hillside) refreshes the consumer education statute to add financial literacy requirements that are in alignment with the Illinois Social Science Learning Standards for Economics and Financial Literacy or other relevant career and technical education learning standards, as appropriate. The bill also requires ISBE, subject to appropriation, to prepare and make available instructional resources and professional learning opportunities for educators on these topics. The amendment was a positive development and moves away from the language in the introduced bill that would have added a new graduation mandate. HB 1375 passed the Senate unanimously.


Changes to Requirements for Township Treasurers

HB 305 (Katz Muhl, D- Northbrook/Harris, D-Homewood) allows (rather than mandates) school districts to withdraw from their arrangement with their Township Board of Trustees; leaving in-tact the current structure and access to the Treasurer’s office for other school districts. The bill is on 3rd reading in the Senate and will return to the House for a concurrence vote.


Transparency of District EBF Spending

HB 3446 (Bennett, R-Morris/W. Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) enhances transparency and will require a new report on ISBE’s website that encapsulates all district annual spending plans. The bill, an initiative of PEER Illinois. The bill is on concurrence in the House.


School Board Member Training

SB 2987 (Cappel, D-Joliet/Elik, R-Alton) expands school board members professional development and leadership training to include the topic of improving student outcomes within the scope of the duties of a school board member. SB 2987 passed both the House and Senate.


Child Abuse Reports to School

SB 2788 (Edly-Allen, D-Grayslake/Faver Dias, D-Grayslake) requires Child Protective Service Unit to send a copy of its final finding report to the school that the child, who is the indicated victim of child abuse attends. Requires the report to be sent during the summer to the last school that the child attended. Provides that the final finding report shall provide the date of expungement from the central register and the school shall purge the final finding report from the student's record in accordance with the Illinois School Student Records Act.


Spirit Rule Book

SB 2861 (Morrison, D-Deerfield/Morgan, D-Highwood) is a bill to ensure all student athletes have an opportunity to enjoy healthy participation in cheerleading and spirit groups. The bill provides that an association or other entity that has, as one of its purposes, promoting, sponsoring, regulating, or in any manner providing for interscholastic athletics or any form of athletic competition among schools and students within this State shall adopt the Spirit Rules Book published by the National Federation of State High School Associations or a similar document as the safety standards for student cheerleaders, spirit groups, and their coaches who participate in any school activity or extracurricular student activity sponsored or sanctioned by that association or other entity. SB 2861 passed both the House and Senate.


Fentanyl Education

HB 4219 (Yang Rohr, D-Naperville/Ellman, D-Naperville) as amended allows the instruction, study, and discussion on the dangers of fentanyl to be taught by a licensed educator, school nurse, school counselor, school social worker or law enforcement officer. HB 4219 is in the House on concurrence.


Reading Plan Requirements

HB 4902 (Faver Dias, D-Grayslake/Lightford, D-Hillsdale) provides that the support provided by a vendor or learning partner approved to support a school's continuous improvement plan related to English language arts must be based on the comprehensive literacy plan for the State developed by the State Board of Education. HB 4902 passed both the House and Senate.


Waiver of non-resident tuition for DCFS Placements

SB 2824 (McClure, R-Litchfield/Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville) ensure that children are able to attend school in their original school district where they previously resided if they are removed from their homes by DCFS, if it is in the child’s best interest. SB 2824 passed both the House and Senate.


Student Relaxation Time

SB 2872 (Faver Dias, D-Grayslake) would allow schools the option to provide relaxation activities for at least 20 minutes a week. A school district could partner with public and private community organizations to provide relaxation activities. The bill passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor.


Carbon Free School Report information

HB 4751 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) This bill provides that "confidential information" does not include program offerings, solar opportunities, health and safety certifications, energy efficiency recommendations, information about transportation and other funding offerings. This information would be public on a school’s Carbon-Free Assessment report. The bill passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor.


School Air Quality Task Force

HB 4903 (Johnson, D-Waukegan) would create the Air Quality in Schools Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to study and make recommendations to the General Assembly on air quality goals for elementary, middle, and high schools. The bill passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor.


Workplace Readiness Week

HB 4417 (Halpin, D-Rock Island) provides that all public high schools, including charter schools, may designate and annually observe a week known as "Workplace Readiness Week". Students would be provided information on their rights as workers during that week. Topics could include worker safety, paid sick leave and the right to organize a union. The bill passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor.


403b Updates

SB 2568 (Villa ,D- West Chicago) among other provisions the legislation provides that 403b plans must be agreed upon by the collective bargaining units and management in school districts. The bill was heard in the Senate Labor committee this week and is positioned on 3rd reading in the Senate.


Timeliness goals for labor boards

HB5324 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) would require the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) and Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) to set timeliness goals for issuing decisions on Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges. The boards would also be required to submit an annual report on their caseload and how long it took for decisions to be made. The bill passed out of the House 111-0.


 

A look ahead

Legislative action, including on FY25 budget and revenue bills, is likely to occur in the coming days. Watch Under the Dome for updates!

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