Friday, March 16, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-60

LEGISLATURE MOVES TOWARD BREAK

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.