Legislative Highlights for the Week of 2/21/22 (Part 2 of 2)

(via the Illinois Federation of Teachers)


Bills Impacting Students


HB 5265 (Rep. Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires notice to homeless students and their families of the ability to waive school fees. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 4243 (Rep. Mason, D-Gurnee) prohibits a school district from withholding a student's grades, transcripts, or diploma because of an unpaid balance on the student's school account. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 4200 (Rep. Nichols, D-Burbank) provides that school personnel participating in the postsecondary mentoring program may receive compensation (instead of may not receive any compensation) for their participation in the program. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 5193 (Rep. Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) provides that every school district shall include safe gun storage information in schools' student handbooks. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 4203 (Rep. West, D-Rockford) prohibits a public body from displaying any racially derogatory language, including racial slurs, within its building, on its property, or at a public meeting at any time. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 5032 (Rep. Mayfield,D-Waukegan)/SB 3900 (Sen. Lightford, D-Hillside) initiative of the Illinois Early Literacy Coalition; this bill seeks to establish a structured approach to literacy and requires curriculum, licensure, professional development and standards to be aligned to this literacy approach. The intent of the legislation is to address low literacy rates for Illinois students as part of the Black Caucus education agenda and specifically address reading challenges experienced by children. The IFT has a number of concerns with the legislation and has been engaged in conversations with the proponents of the bill. Both bills are positioned for action next week; however, ongoing conversations are being held with the bill sponsors.


HB 5488 (Rep. Harper, D-Chicago) provides that any middle or high school child from a public school shall be permitted by a school board at least one school day-long excused absence per school year to engage in a civic event. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 4716 (Rep. Halpin, D-Rock Island) requires the State Board of Education, Secretary of State, and other stakeholders to update course content and learning standards for the classroom and laboratory phases of driver education for novice teen drivers under the age of 18. The bill is positioned for action next week.


School Operations


HB 4813 (Rep. Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) lifts the lowest bidder requirement for school lunch service. The IFT has been opposed due to concerns that this will exacerbate privatization of school lunch services. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 5214 (Rep. Hernandez, D-Cicero) requires a school district to provide an interpreter for a parent who is deaf or doesn’t speak English for IEP, 504, and due process meetings with parents. The bill is positioned for action next week.


SB 3789 (Sen. Morrison, D-Highwood) provides that the report that accompanies the school district's annual financial report must be adopted at an open meeting that allows for public comment. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 41-8-0 and has been picked up by Representative Jonathan Carroll.


SB 932 (Sen. Castro, D-Elgin) was amended to allow the presiding officer of a public body to determine if holding an in-person meeting would risk the health or safety of members of the public body and to conduct an audio or video meeting instead. The bill is being supported by local governments, including school districts, to allow for local control while preserving the integrity of an open meeting. SB 932 was passed out of the Senate Executive Committee but has not yet been called for a vote on the Senate floor.


Assessment


HB 5149 (Rep. Haas, R-Kankakee) prohibits the State Board of Education from taking any action that requires students enrolled in grades 3 through 8 to take the annual assessment or any part of the annual assessment in English language arts and mathematics more than once per school year. This bill was not called in the House Executive Committee.


SB 4058 (Sen. Cappel, D-Plainfield) provides that prior to approving a contract for any district-administered assessment, except those assessments developed by district teachers or administrators, a school board must hold a public hearing at a regular or special meeting of the school board, in which the terms of the proposal must be substantially presented and an opportunity for allowing public comments must be provided. This bill was not called for a vote in committee.


SB 3986 (Sen. Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago)/HB 5285 (Rep. LaPointe, D-Chicago) prohibits the State Board of Education from developing, purchasing, or requiring a school district to administer, develop, or purchase a standardized assessment for students enrolled or preparing to enroll in prekindergarten through grade 2, other than for diagnostic purposes. SB 3986 passed the Senate on a vote of 53-2-0; the House version of the bill is positioned for action next week.


Tax and Revenue Legislation


HB 4326 (Rep .Stuart, D-Edwardsville) redirects of a portion of the School Facility Occupational Tax to the Regional Offices of Education. The bill is positioned for action next week.


HB 4547 (Rep. Burke, D-Oak Lawn) provides that if a school district approves a property tax relief abatement for a given levy year, then the school district shall file in the office of the county clerk of each county in which a portion of the district is situated a certified copy of the resolution providing for the property tax relief abatement. The bill is positioned for action next week.


SB 2298 (Sen. Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights) TIF and PTELL reform. Establishes a transparent, collaborative, and objective process for evaluating the extension of a TIF and expands the authority of school districts in the TIF process.


A look ahead:


During the next few weeks, the legislature will continue to move bills cross chamber and approve legislation in opposite chamber committees. Discussions around the development of the FY23 State Budget continue as well.


The House returns to Springfield next week for additional floor action. Senators are back in districts until March 8th.