Legislative Agenda 2018

[Spring 2018] Hundreds of bills are introduced in Springfield every session. Here's the bills we're tracking the most closely during the current session of the 100th IL General Assembly.

Key legislation

  • HB5481: Class Size Goals Requires districts to report data on class sizes to ISBE as well as sets targets for class sizes for K-12 classrooms. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here. [Update 5.24: Passed both chambers.]
  • HB5721: Facilities and School Actions CPS continues to make decisions about opening and closing schools without adhering to a long-term facilities plan or engaging with communities. This bill requires public input and more transparency for capital spending. It reduces the need for school actions through increased supports for under enrolled schools. And it provides additional assistance to students and school communities subjected to school actions. Read our HB5721 fact sheet here. Mobile-friendly version here.
  • HB1295: Student Data Transparency As computer usage and data collection increases in public ed, parents have the right to know who is collecting, storing and sharing what data on their children; this bill would require public disclosure of this information and would establish procedures for how parents could examine, correct and request for such data to be deleted. Read a one-pager about this bill here and a backgrounder from Raise Your Hand about why we need better student data privacy protections in IL here.
  • SB3592: Elected School Board Last spring, an elected school board bill, HB1774 passed both chambers with overwhelming majorities, but was blocked from being sent to the Governor's desk by the Senate and House leadership. This new bill is intended to resolve those issues. More here. Mobile-friendly version here.
  • SB454-HFA3: Enhancing Parent Participation in CPS Special Education. Introduced in response to the ISBE Public Inquiry and remedies for CPS's violation of federal special education law, this bill goes beyond ISBE's corrective actions to provide additional support and transparency and accountability for families seeking a free, appropriate public education for their children with disabilities. Read the details of the bill and a list of organizational supporters here.

Other bills we support

  • HB4208: Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Intended to mitigate factors, like suspensions, expulsions and in-school arrests, leading to the school-to-prison pipeline via targeted matching grants. More here. Mobile friendly version here.
  • SB2236: Limits any allocation to the tax credit scholarship program until after the minimum statutory funding level is achieved for districts. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here.
  • SB2468: Requires that if a student’s IEP team determines a student does not need an assistive device they must notify parents of the decision and the basis for the decision.
  • SB3514Special education staffingThis bill would require CPS to fund special ed positions from the board level and gets rid of commingling of funds. It bases funding on IEP minutes.
  • HB4657: Requires professional development for teachers to recognize signs of mental health issues in students. The school code now only requires this for grades 7 and up.

Bills we oppose

  • SB3183LSC Disempowerment/Principal Evaluation Seeks to reduce the current authority LSCs have to not renew a principal’s four year contract with the school, thereby diminishing the single most important power LSCs have in shaping the direction of their schools. Local School Councils are currently the only democratically-elected bodies of governance within CPS. The strongest power they are afforded is discretion in selecting a principal and renewing their contract. Reducing that power effectively waters down an LSC’s ability to enact change. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here.
  • SB3099: Allows sale of student data after obtaining written consent from the student or parent/guardian of the student in some cases as well as allowing for more cases of use of data outside of research. More here.
  • HB4227: Expands the schools eligible for grants under the tax credit program to schools not currently under “recognized” status from ISBE.
  • HB4563: Expands tax credits to include donations to school foundations and reduces funding from the evidence based funding model by the same amount.
  • HB4376: Allows the use of BrightStart 529 funds for use for K-12 schools.
  • SB2855: Would prohibit IL State Board of Education from establishing class sizes for special ed unless full funding were provided to cover costs of class size limitations. Would end any existing rules and regulations of class sizes for special ed.