Saturday, May 6, 2017

Legislation updates available for districts to monitor

The Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance recently released an updated “hot bills” list. The bills outlined in the list include prominent legislation tracked by the Alliance that board members and administrators should monitor.

“Though there are hundreds of bills being tracked by the Alliance, the ‘hot bills’ list includes those that would have the most impact on school boards and school districts if they were to be approved and implemented,” said IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm.

Among the proposals included is an Illinois Vision 20/20 initiative. Senate Bill 863, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield), would require three members of the Illinois State Board of Education to come from the educator community. The bill was approved by the Senate and is awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives.

Another Vision 20/20-related initiative seeks to implement an Evidence-Based Funding Model. House Bill 2808, sponsored by Representative Will Davis (D-Chicago), would replace the current school funding formula with an evidence-based system that utilizes 27 factors based on data and best educational practices. The legislation has been re-referred back to the House Rules Committee, but the concepts within the bill are still a major topic in the ongoing discussions on school funding reform.

Several bills have been removed from the list because they could not generate enough support for passage before the deadline. Bills requiring new instruction on civics and work ethic were halted, as well as bills to prescribe specific time limits on recess and to allow certain convicted felons to teach in public schools.

The entire “hot bills” list can be found here