Monday, August 27, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-75

GOVERNOR VETOES SALARY BILL

Governor Bruce Rauner, on Sunday, vetoed the bill which would set a statewide minimum teacher salary of $40,000 by the 2022-2023 school year. SB 2892 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) would take effect in the 2019-2020 school year by requiring beginning teacher salaries to be at least $32,000 per year, then increasing salaries incrementally over four school years. Each year thereafter, the minimum teacher salary would increase yearly by the rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Lawmakers will take up the bill again in the November veto session when the bill sponsor is certain to file a motion to override the veto.

The Alliance opposed the bill in the spring and urged the governor to veto the measure. The veto of the bill was largely due to the advocacy of school board members and other school leaders contacting the governor to urge a veto based on the new mandated costs to local school districts.

It is estimated that nearly half of the school districts in the state would be affected by such a new salary requirement. Any gains in funding due to the new Evidence-Based Funding Formula would be totally consumed by the new salary mandate in many school districts. Under such a law, the net result could actually hurt classroom teachers as school districts would be forced to reduce the teaching force in order to pay the higher salaries.

P.E. BILL VETOED; LUNCH BILL SIGNED

Two other bills being watched closely by the Alliance also saw gubernatorial action last week. SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora) would establish a 150 minute per week standard for Physical Education. The bill would roll back the gains in flexibility for school districts that were put in place last year in the school funding bill provision that allows P.E. to be offered three days per week instead of five days per week. The governor vetoed the bill.

SB 2428 (Stadelman, D-Rockford) would allow students, regardless of ability to pay, to accumulate a minimum school lunch debt of $500 dollars. Once the $500 dollar threshold has been passed, schools would have to go through a state reimbursement and withholding process to attempt to recoup the money owed. The governor signed the bill into law and it is now Public Act 100-1092; effective August 26, 2018.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 100-75, including action taken on other education-related bills.